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Wild aim to sweep Blackhawks in home-and-home finale

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild take aim at their longest winning streak of the season on Monday, as they host the Chicago Blackhawks in the finale of a home-and-home series at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild have won three in a row for the second time in 2013-14, taking recent contests against Nashville, Carolina and the Blackhawks. Minnesota recorded a 5-3 win Saturday in Chicago, sending the defending Stanley Cup champions to their second straight defeat.

Jason Pominville tallied two goals to help the Wild win for the fourth time in six meetings against Chicago, not counting last spring's opening-round playoff series, which the Blackhawks won in five games.

Including the playoffs, the Blackhawks have won six of the past nine meetings in St. Paul.

Zach Parise, Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine each lit the lamp as well as on Saturday for the Wild, who matched their season-high of five goals. Mikael Granlund and Ryan Suter both contributed two assists to the victory.

Niklas Backstrom stopped 33-of-36 shots and earned his first win of the season in an excellent performance between the pipes.

"It starts with Backy, no question, he was on top of his game. We were on our toes, aggressive, with good sticks and reads," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo.

Backstrom expects to get the start again on Monday and is 6-8-1 with a 2.68 goals against average in 16 career games versus the Blackhawks.

Bryan Bickell, Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger scored for Chicago in Saturday's defeat, while Corey Crawford allowed five goals on 25 shots.

"We kept ourselves in the game. I don't know how many goals they got off the faceoff, bingo-bango take a lead right from the start," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.

Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus sat out Saturday's test with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss Monday's game as well. The two-way centerman has one goal and two assists in nine games this season.

Chicago hasn't lost three straight in the regular since Feb. 23-26, 2012. The 'Hawks did drop three in a row to Detroit in the postseason last spring before eliminating the Red Wings in seven games during the Western Conference semifinals.

10/28 11:12:04 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago3Final(OT) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 2-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • PGA: RBC Heritage

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    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
9th
OAK 1
HOU 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR