The Minnesota Wild are back at the United Center for the second time in the past dozen days and face the Blackhawks for the third time since Jan. 21 overall. Minnesota won the previous two matchups, including a 4-3 overtime victory at the Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 22.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Central Division rivals also will be the Wild’s final game before this weekend’s All-Star Game.
Minnesota enters the night on the strength of five straight wins and a nine-game point streak as well. The latter ties a season-high stretch and it also marks the first time the Wild have recorded p point streak of eight or more games twice in a season.
Minnesota also is 10-5-2 in its last 17 road games and is 4-0-1 in the past five.
Wild forward Kevin Fiala can tie a Wild record with a point in a 12th straight game. His 11-game run is the longest current streak in the NHL and Fiala has eight goals and 14 points over that stretch.
Wild injury report
Wild forward Marcus Foligno will miss a second consecutive game, and defenseman Matt Dumba is also out with an upper-body injury.
Wild coach Dean Evason said during a Tuesday media availability session that Foligno could probably play, “if push came to shove”, but added that the team was being extra cautious with the injury.
“Obviously both are very big pieces for us, but we want to try and do the right thing to get them 100%,” Evason said. “With the break coming, we can hopefully get to that point.”
Forward Nick Bjugstad has missed the last eight games with an upper-body injury, and defenseman Jon Merrill and forward Nico Sturm both remain the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
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The Wild vs. Blackhawks odds on WynnBET has Minesota favored by 1.5 goals in a return trip to the United Center this month. Minnesota also is the favorite on the moneyline once again at -160, and Chicago is the underdog at +140. The over/under for total goals is six.
Upcoming Wild schedule
Tuesday, Feb. 8: @Winnipeg, 7 p.m. CST
Saturday, Feb. 12: Carolina, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 14: Detroit, 7 p.m.