Blackhawks at Wild
Where? When? Television?
Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN; 6:30 p.m.; Versus
Where they stand
Blackhawks: 18-8-4 (40 points) - First in Central Division, Second in Western Conference
Wild: 20-8-3 (43 points) - First in Northwest Division, First in Western Conference
The Blackhawks are coming off a 3-2 OT victory against the Sharks on Sunday night. Patrick Sharp scored the game-winning goal at the 4:26 mark of overtime. Andrew Brunette had some late heroics, scoring a goal to tie the game at the 18:54 mark of the third period. Ray Emery picked up the victory in his second straight game since taking over for Corey Crawford.
The Wild fell, 2-1 to the Jets on a late goal in third period by Jeff Little of Winnipeg. Guillaume Latendresse scored the only goal for Minnesota and Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley added assists.
The stars have been shining bright for Chicago this month. Sharp leads the Blackhawks in goals (5) and points (8) in the month of December. Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have each notched seven points in December.
Minnesota has spread around the wealth so far this month. Kyle Brodziak leads the team in goals (4) and is tied in points (6) with Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
The Blackhawks are looking for their third straight victory and trying to state their case for why they're the top team in the Western Conference.
Can Emery continue his winning streak since taking over for Crawford?
How will the 'Hawks fare against Minnesota's stingy defense, who has only allowed 2.10 goals per game?
Between the pipes
Emery for the Blackhawks
Undecided for the Wild
Blackhawks 2, Wild 1
Share your predictions in the comment box below and let us know what your looking forward to most in this matchup.
When the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw it meant the team gave up a key player, but also got essential breathing room under the NHL's hard salary cap.
While losing Shaw is a blow, the team netted draft picks and salary cap relief. The move came just after Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen were traded for a pair of draft picks.
CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers went on SportsTalk Live to talk about the Blackhawks' recent moves and what's ahead in the video above.
The question now becomes what's next? The Blackhawks have holes to fill heading into the season and now do have some room under the salary cap.
Myers said adding a veteran defenseman is arguably the top priority and Brian Campbell and Andrew Ladd are mentioned as possibilities.
How the Blackhawks will replace Shaw specifically will be tough. Recently signed prospects Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz could help to add some depth, but it's hard to rely on those players right away.
Watch the video above to see the full discussion of what the Blackhawks can and should still do in the rest of the offseason.
The Blackhawks probably would've liked to be the ones to sign Andrew Shaw to a long-term deal. Instead, it was the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs announced Monday they agreed to terms on a six-year contract with Shaw, who according to reports will take home an annual average salary of $3.9 million.
"We are very pleased to have agreed to a long-term deal with Andrew Shaw," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in the announcement. "As I mentioned last Friday following his acquisition, we are adding a solid character player to our team, a reliable player who plays with grit and a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks over the past five seasons. Andrew will add more leadership to our team. I had the opportunity to discuss with him over the past few days, and I sense his determination and excitement in joining the Canadiens’ organization for many years to come."
The Blackhawks, in another salary-cap squeeze this offseason, traded Shaw to the Canadiens last week in exchange for a pair of draft picks.
In five seasons with the Blackhawks, Shaw totaled 137 points, scoring 70 goals and tallying 67 assists. He was a key member of a pair of Stanley Cup winners in 2013 and 2015. In 67 playoff games, he registered 35 points.
Shortly after he collected a handful of hardware at the NHL Awards last week, including the Hart Trophy for league MVP, Patrick Kane may have another accolade coming his way.
The Blackhawks superstar has been nominated for an ESPY Award as the NHL's best player in 2016 following a season in which he set career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106).
He also set a new American-born record and franchise mark by earning at least a point in 26 straight games, the longest point streak since Mats Sundin (30 games) did it in 1992-93.
Kane looks to make history with Jonathan Toews, who captured the same ESPY Award in 2015, as the first set of teammates to have won in back-to-back years.
The four other nominees are Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Washington's Braden Holtby and Alex Ovechkin, and San Jose's Joe Pavelski.
The winner will be selected on July 13 at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Click here to cast your vote.