Blackhawks-Wild Preview

The Associated Press

After being dominated by the Blackhawks in last season's playoffs, the Minnesota Wild handed Chicago its first regulation home defeat of 2013-14.

Now they'll try to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second time in three days when the teams meet Monday night.

Minnesota is seeking its first five-game home win streak in nearly two years.

The Wild (6-3-3) won their third in a row overall Saturday with a 5-3 victory in their first game at United Center since being eliminated from the Western Conference quarterfinals in five games last May. The Blackhawks outscored them 15-7 in that series.

Minnesota had totaled three goals during a three-game slump before its current streak. The club needed only 25 shots to match a season-high scoring total on Saturday.

"There have been chances and they haven't gone in and you know it's just a matter of time before they're going to go in," coach Mike Yeo said.

Jason Pominville scored two goals for the second time in his last three regular-season matchups with the Blackhawks. Five of his six scores this season have come in the last seven games. Mikael Granlund was credited with an assist on each.

"When you've got a guy who can shoot the puck like that and a guy who can distribute it like that, you sure like to think it's going to eventually pay off, and tonight was a great example of that," Yeo said.

Niklas Backstrom stopped 33 shots in his first start since suffering a strained right knee in a 3-2 loss at Nashville on Oct. 8. Josh Harding was unavailable after leaving a 3-1 win over Carolina on Thursday with a lower-body injury. Backstrom had been 1-5-1 with a 3.55 goals-against average in his last eight starts versus Chicago.

The Blackhawks (6-2-3) have yielded 11 goals in their last two games after allowing the same number in their previous six. Backup Nikolai Khabibulin stopped only 19 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday, and Corey Crawford's .800 save percentage Saturday was his worst in a home game since March 25, 2012.

Crawford posted a 1.32 goals-against average while starting all five playoff games versus Minnesota, but has allowed eight goals on 48 shots over his last two regular-season starts against the Wild.

Chicago has also given up five power-play goals on 18 chances over the last five games after letting Minnesota convert once in five opportunities Saturday.

"Games like tonight, you're not happy with the result or the way things went," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think we should all be disappointed with the way things evolved tonight and be excited about playing them again on Monday."

Bryan Bickell scored for the fourth straight game and now has three goals in his last three regular-season matchups with the Wild.

Patrick Sharp still has only one goal this season despite 45 shots, including seven against Backstrom. His 2.2 shooting percentage is the lowest among all NHL players with a goal.

Jonathan Toews has 10 points in his last seven games against Minnesota after assisting on Patrick Kane's power-play goal in the third.

Zach Parise's first-period goal broke a string of six straight games versus Chicago without a point.

The Wild haven't won five in a row at home since winning six straight from Oct. 29-Nov. 23, 2011.

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