The Blackhawks were definitely on Santa’s naughty list this year, but they have started to gain some points to be on the nice list. Chicago is 4-2-1 during its past seven games heading into a Central Division matchup against the Wild on Thursday at the United Center.
The Blackhawks will turn to Collin Delia in net for the second time since Corey Crawford went down with his second concussion in less than a year. Delia made 35 saves six days ago in Chicago’s 2-1 victory at Colorado. Delia’s three previous starts have come against Central Division opponents: March 29 vs. Winnipeg and March 30 and Dec. 21 at Colorado.
Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton made one change to the lineup by flipping Dylan Sikura and Brendan Perlini from the third and fourth lines, respectively.
Minnesota, who hasn’t played since Dec. 22, is riding a four-game losing streak into Thursday’s game. The Wild are struggling to produce offensively, with only three goals in their past four games.
Mikael Granlund leads the Wild in scoring with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 35 games, while Zach Parise is right behind at 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 34 outings.
Minnesota will be without one of their best young players as the team announced Wednesday night that defenseman Matt Dumba will miss a minimum of three months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured right pectoralis muscle.
Devan Dubnyk is expected to start between the pipes. He has a 2.59 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage this season.
Chicago has taken three out of a possible four points in the season series against Minnesota. The Blackhawks lost 4-3 in overtime Oct. 11 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, then won 3-1 on Nov. 18 in Chicago.
Saad — Toews — Kahun
Strome — Anisimov — Kane
DeBrincat — Kampf — Perlini
Hayden — Nilsson — Sikura
Keith — Gustafsson
Forsling — Seabrook
Dahlstrom — Murphy
Zucker — Staal — Grandlund
Parise — Koivu — Niederreiter
Greenway — Coyle — Kunin
Foligno — Eriksson Ek — Fehr
Suter — Spurgeon
Brodin — Pateryn
Seeler — Prosser
How to Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago