Wild vs. Blackhawks: Minnesota looks to remain perfect against Central Division rival

Minnesota Wild forward Mats Zuccarello has six points in three games against the Chicago Blackhawks this season. The teams meet again on Saturday afternoon.(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Wild forward Mats Zuccarello has six points in three games against the Chicago Blackhawks this season. The teams meet again on Saturday afternoon.(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) /
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1 p.m. . 94. Saturday, March 19. 35-20-4. Wild -1.5. 22-30-9. Bally Sports North . 98

The Minnesota Wild look to remain perfect against the Chicago Blackhawks this season in the with questions swirling around both teams ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

The Wild have outscored the Blackhawks 14-3 in the three previous games this season, two of which have been in Chicago. The fourth matchup comes at the Xcel Energy Center in a Saturday matinee.

Both teams also have made a trade this week, with the Wild obtaining Tyson Jost in exchange for Nico Sturm, and the Blackhawks sending Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The question is are both teams done?

Chicago, which is buried in seventh place in the division standings,  traded for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in July and he is attracting interest from a number of franchises now. Could one of them be the Wild, who have struggled in net over the past month with the tandem of Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen.

Talbot will get the start against the Blackhawks on Saturday. He is 8-7-1 in 16 career starts against Chicago with a 2.26 goals against average and three shutouts. One of those came in a 5-0 win at the United Center on Feb. 2.

Minnesota is 8-2-2 in the last dozen games against Chicago at the Xcel Energy Center, and 16-7-3 in the past 25 games between the rivals.

Betting odds

The Wild vs Blackhawks odds on .WynnBET has Minnesota favored by 1.5 goals at the Xcel Energy Center.  Minnesota also is the favorite on the moneyline at -260 . Chicago is the underdog at +210, and  the over/under for the matchup is listed at 6.5 total goals.

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Upcoming Wild schedule

Monday, March 21: Vegas, 7 p.m. CST

Thursday, March 24: Vancouver, 7 p.m. CST

Saturday, March 26: Columbus, 7 p.m.