Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
United Center, Chicago
Written by Nick Raffoul
The Minnesota Wild will open a three-game Western Conference road trip on Sunday when they travel to the United Center to do battle with the Chicago Blackhawks.
After going 8-1-3 over their last 12 games, the Minnesota Wild are suddenly back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. The Wild have now compiled 37 points through 33 games, putting them just two points off the pace in the chase for the final Wild Card spot in the West. Meanwhile, Chicago has lost four straight and 10 of its last 13 games to come in with only 30 points through 33 contests. Can the Blackhawks get back on track at home against the red-hot Wild on Sunday?
See Full Analysis with Predictions
Wild stay hot, beat Flyers 4-1The Wild stayed hot on their home ice on Saturday, beating Philadelphia 4-1 to extend their home point streak to nine games. Eric Staal scored twice and Alex Stalock stopped 17 of 18 shots to help Minnesota continue its climb up the Western Conference standings. Zach Parise and Carson Soucy also lit the lamp for Minnesota, which was forced to finish the game without center Joel Eriksson, who left the game in the second period. He has not been ruled out for Sunday’s contest.
Minnesota will turn to rookie goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen between the pipes on Sunday for his fifth career start. Kahkonen has yet to lose in regulation, going 3-0-1 with a 2.70 GAA and .925 save percentage through his first four career NHL games. The 23-year-old goaltender has helped the Wild stay afloat while starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk remains away from the team while tending to a personal issue. Dubnyk, who hasn’t played since Nov. 16, will accompany the Wild on their upcoming road trip and could return to the ice as soon as Tuesday or Thursday. In Dubnyk’s absence, the Wild have posted a solid 8-1-3 overall record and 33-year-old had a disappointing 3.35 GAA through his first 14 games (13 starts).
The Wild should also be getting a few other reinforcements back on the upcoming road trip. Center Mikko Koivu and Jared Spurgeon are also expected to join the team after nursing lower-body and hand injuries, respectively.
Upcoming Scheduled Games
We currently do not have a prediction for this team, check back closer to the game day!