Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
1. Fast starts haven't been enough.
The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in each of the last four games but haven't been able to come out on top in any of them. Well, here's a chance to finish strong.
No team has allowed more third-period goals than the Wild, who have given up 72. To put that into perspective, they've allowed 78 goals in the first two periods combined.
Their third periods haven't been great, and it was evident in their most recent game on Thursday when they went up 3-0 but squandered it and lost 4-3 in overtime to Arizona. They allowed two of those goals in the final frame.
2. Power play quietly finding success.
The Blackhawks have the 29th-ranked power play, but they've been getting into a rhythm in that area as of late. They've scored on the man advantage in three straight games, going 3-for-10 over that span.
They had been 2-for-26 (7.7 percent) in their previous nine games, so they're obviously taking steps in the right direction. Baby steps, but steps forward nonetheless.
3. Eric Staal.
The resurgence continues for the 33-year-old center, who's somehow on pace to surpass the amount of goals and points he had last year. Staal is six goals away from having his first 30-goal season since 2010-11 when he scored 33 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
He has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in his past nine games, including four goals and two assists in his last four.