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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 23rd (All times Eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (32-8-12) at Minnesota Wild (27-20-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A Minnesota Wild team that was shut out for the second time in four games on Tuesday could be getting a major boost to its offense.

The Wild may have forward Zach Parise back in the lineup for the first time in 15 games on Thursday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks, who wrap up a set of back-to-back games on consecutive nights.

Parise has not played since Dec. 22 due to a foot injury originally suffered on Nov. 25 when he blocked a shot. He was expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks at that time, but returned after missing just one game.

However, the injury lingered and he was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 28.

The 29-year-old, who has 15 goals and 27 points in 37 games this season, put in a full practice on Wednesday and said afterwards that he felt good but would probably wait until morning skate to see if he will play tonight.

"We don't know that yet. The plan was to get him involved, full duty in practice and see how he responds to that," echoed Wild coach Mike Yeo,. "He looked good. We weren't really worried about how he was going to look, it's a matter of how he feels."

Minnesota, also without forward Mikko Koivu (ankle surgery) and goaltender Josh Harding (illness), was blanked 4-0 by Dallas on Tuesday just a few days after recording a 3-2 overtime win at home over the Stars. This time around, the Wild failed to get any of their 18 shots past Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen.

Darcy Kuemper gave up all four goals on 36 shots for the Wild, who had won seven of nine coming into the contest.

"Well we won the opening faceoff and spent 40 seconds in our own zone, that's a bad sign right there," said Yeo. "We weren't ready to execute, to get going the right way and it just trickled on from there."

Minnesota is 18-7-2 at home this season and begins a four-game road trip on Saturday in San Jose. The club is just 9-13-3 on the road.

Kuemper is in line to make his sixth straight start tonight -- the first of his career versus the Blackhawks -- and should be backed up by Niklas Backstrom. He had been out with a lingering lower-body issue but netminder Johan Gustafsson was reassigned to the minors on Wednesday.

The Blackhawks had a two-game win streak snapped last night with a 5-4 shootout setback in Detroit. Though it was Chicago's fifth loss in eight games, the club has a point in all but one of those contests (3-1-4) and still leads St. Louis by five points for first place in the Central Division.

Patrick Sharp, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa all scored in regulation, while Jonathan Toews and Sharp added shootout goals. However, Shaw couldn't extend the tiebreaker in the sixth round, denied on his chance after Corey Crawford was bested for the third time in the shootout a skater earlier.

Crawford made 27 saves through overtime.

"We weren't very good tonight," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "They worked hard. They were the harder-working team and getting ourselves a point out of there, with a chance for two in the shootout, certainly we'll take a point because we didn't play well enough or hard enough."

Hossa scored in a third straight game and has a goal in five of his last six contests, with six goals over that time to give him 21 on the season.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, though, has gone 11 straight games without a goal but did have two assists against the Red Wings. He has five helpers over his goal drought.

Antti Raanta may get the start tonight for Chicago and the rookie has never faced the Wild. He is 12-1-3 with a 2.25 goals against average and .911 save percentage in 17 games (15 starts) on the season.

The Blackhawks have lost two of three to the Wild this season and have lost six of their past nine in Minnesota.

Kane has two goals and two assists in the three meetings this season, while Parise has two goals and Jason Pominville is pacing the Wild with three goals and an assist.

01/23 10:46:14 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14