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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 4, 2017
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota  Attendance: 19,218

Wild, Blackhawks both searching for spark

Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild

  1. The Wild snapped their three-game losing streak versus Chicago by beating the Blackhawks, 5-2, on the road on October 12 earlier this season. Minnesota has lost each of its last two home games versus Chicago after winning its previous four home games versus the Blackhawks.
  2. The Blackhawks snapped their three-game losing streak by beating the Flyers, 3-0, at home on Wednesday, their first shutout this season. Chicago is now 5-0-0 when allowing one or fewer goals this season and 1-5-2 when allowing multiple goals.
  3. The Wild won, 6-3, at home versus Montreal on Thursday, tied for their most goals in any game this season (also October 26 versus the Islanders). Minnesota is now 3-0-0 when scoring at least five goals and 2-4-2 when scoring four or fewer goals.
  4. Artem Anisimov had one goal and one assist on Wednesday, his first multi-point game of the season. Anisimov has four points over his last three games (one or more in each game), after totaling two points over his first 10 games played this season.
  5. Jonathan Toews lit the lamp on Wednesday, snapping his seven-game streak without a goal. Toews now has 631 career points, nine shy of matching Dennis Hull for seventh most in Blackhawks franchise history.
  6. Jared Spurgeon lit the lamp on Thursday, his second goal of the season and team-leading ninth point this year. Spurgeon is the only defenseman currently leading his team in points; no defenseman has ever led the Wild in points at season's end.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks have grown accustomed to making the playoffs every year in recent seasons. They often seem to face each other in the postseason as well.

Yet in early November, neither the Wild nor the Blackhawks are playing the level of hockey to which their fans grew accustomed when these two teams were squaring off in the playoffs.

Both Minnesota and Chicago have gotten off to slow starts so far in the 2017-18 season. The Wild's most recent win improved their record to 5-4-2. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are just ahead of Minnesota in the standings with a 6-5-2 mark.

The Wild routed the Blackhawks by a 5-2 final in Chicago earlier this season. The Central division foes will match up for the second time in the young season on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota is coming off a bounce-back effort, a 6-3 win over Montreal that followed a 2-1 loss at home to Winnipeg. The Wild's latest victory was a chance for defenseman Matt Dumba to redeem himself.

After a rough game against the Hurricanes, Dumba had a pair of assists in Thursday's victory and drew praise from his head coach.

"I thought that was his best game of the year," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of Dumba. "He shot the puck. He played a simple game. And when he plays a simple game, his skills come through."

Chicago enters Saturday's tilt a few days removed from a 3-0 shutout of Philadelphia. Goalie Corey Crawford stopped all 35 shots he faced to snap the Blackhawks' three-game losing streak.

"We needed a big effort," Crawford told the Chicago Tribune. "We've been playing pretty good hockey, just haven't gotten some wins. It was a good one for us to get a big win at home and get back on track."

When these two teams met back in October in Chicago, it was Chris Stewart scoring a pair of goals for the Wild. Stewart scored just two goals in seven games since.

But Minnesota relies on a balanced scoring attack. Ten different Wild players have at least five points through 11 games, with Stewart's six goals leading in that department.

Chicago, meanwhile, has gotten scoring from its top-end duo of Patrick Kane (team-high 13 points) and Jonathan Toews (nine points) in 13 games. Now the Blackhawks will find out if they can build off of their 3-0 win that ended a tough three-game stretch.

"Probably in 10 years that we're looking at the standings, we're not where we want to be," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune. "So let's do something about it."

Minnesota is 3-2-1 at home this year. Thursday's convincing victory over the Canadiens, in which six different players scored goals, also snapped a power play drought. The Wild hadn't scored a power play goal in four games prior to Thursday, going 0-for-16 with the man advantage in those games.

"They moved the puck around fast, and the other thing they did, they shot and they played to the inside of their guys," Boudreau said of the Wild's power play. "They were getting shots through. When you do those things, good things happen."

Updated November 3, 2017

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