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Preview: Blackhawks at Wild

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Minnesota Wild attempt to extend their winning streak and complete a home-and-home sweep when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. Minnesota has posted three straight victories, including a 5-3 triumph over the reigning Stanley Cup champions in Chicago on Saturday. Jason Pominville celebrated his 600th career game with a pair of goals as the Wild stretched their point streak to four contests while halting Chicago's at seven.

The Blackhawks have won only two of their last five contests but earned points in losses to St. Louis in a shootout and Tampa Bay in overtime. Chicago has gone into a defensive funk, allowing a total of 11 goals in its last two games. Left wing Bryan Bickell is on a tear, scoring a goal in each of his last four contests after going without one in his first seven matches.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (6-2-3): Bickell is tied with captain Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa for second on the team in goals, two behind Patrick Kane. The 27-year-old Bickell tallied nine times each of the previous two seasons after netting a career-high 17 goals in 2010-11. Center Michal Handzus missed Saturday's contest with an upper-body injury and likely will sit out the rematch.

ABOUT THE WILD (6-3-3): Justin Fontaine has scored two of his three career goals in his last three games. After netting the game-winner against Nashville on Tuesday, the 25-year-old tallied with 4:21 remaining in the third period Saturday to extend Minnesota's lead to 5-2. Josh Harding was scratched from the game in Chicago with a lower-body injury suffered in the win over the Predators.

OVERTIME

1. Johan Gustafsson dressed as G Niklas Backstrom's backup Saturday with Harding sidelined.

2. The Wild enter with a season-opening six-game point streak at home (4-0-2), including four straight wins.

3. Chicago G Corey Crawford has yielded eight goals on 48 shots in his last two regular-season starts against Minnesota.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Wild 1

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131028/preview-blackhawks-at-wild