Scott Darling will get his third consecutive start and the rest of the lineup should remain the same as Friday’s when the Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
Darling is coming off a 28-stop shutout – his first of the season and second of his career – against the Winnipeg Jets. Michael Leighton will once again serve as Darling’s backup. As for Corey Crawford, who did not skate on Sunday morning, coach Joel Quenneville said the goaltender’s status has not changed. Crawford is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
The Wild, which beat the Carolina Hurricanes in a shootout on Saturday afternoon, enters this game a hungry and desperate team. It is one point behind Colorado for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference. Devan Dubnyk is expected to start for the Wild.
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The Blackhawks don’t need much incentive entering this game: the Wild destroyed them in their outdoor game last month, and the Blackhawks say they have to remember that when they hit the ice tonight.
“There’s no doubt we have to use a little bit of a fire that comes off the loss we had at the outdoor game. It obviously didn’t feel good. But more than anything, we have to realize this team has a little bit of a chip on its shoulder when they play us, given the history we have in the playoffs,” Jonathan Toews said. “If it was the other way around we would [feel] the exact some way. We have to be more prepared for that.”
Meanwhile, Marcus Kruger (wrist) continues to skate with the Blackhawks. Coach Joel Quenneville reiterated that Kruger will go on the Western Canada trip later this week; he was uncertain, however, when Krugerwould play on that trip.