Wild edge Blackhawks, gain ground in Central
CHICAGO — Ryan Suter gave Minnesota the lead on a 4-on-4 early in the third period, Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves and the Wild held off the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Wednesday night to end a two-game slide.
Jonas Brodin scored in the second period for Minnesota (23-17-4). The Wild pulled two points ahead of Chicago (21-16-6) in the tight Central Division and tussle for playoff spots in the Western Conference.
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Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, a healthy scratch in Chicago’s 8-2 win in Ottawa on Tuesday night, was back in the lineup and celebrated with his first goal since opening night.
Chicago’s Anton Forsberg made 25 saves in his third straight start. Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks No. 1 goalie, missed his seventh game with an upper-body injury and hasn’t resumed skating. There’s no timetable for his return.
Blackhawks defenseman Jan Rutta left early in the third, then returned late in the period, after taking an illegal hit to the head from Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno.
Both teams played their second games in two nights. Minnesota lost 3-2 in overtime at home to Calgary on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks acquired winger Anthony Duclair and defenseman Adam Clendening from Arizona before the game in a trade for right wing Richard Panik and minor league forward Laurent Dauphin.
Getting the speedy 22-year-old Duclair is another step for Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman as he tries to shake up and add quickness to a perennial contender that’s looked sluggish at times this season while fighting to maintain a playoff position.
The talented but inconsistent Duclair has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season, scoring in each of his last two games after reports surfaced that he had asked for a trade.
Entering Wednesday, the 32-year-old Seabrook had just one goal and 10 assists in 41 games and had often looked sluggish. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’s “looking for a little bit more from (Seabrook) … whether it’s defending, quickness or offensively.” … Kane, Chicago’s leading scorer, and Minnesota C Eric Staal were named Wednesday to to the NHL All-Star Game. … Minnesota RW Nino Niederreiter missed his second game with a lower-body injury. He is expected to be out until the Wild returns from their bye week on Jan. 20. … Chicago had seven defensemen its lineup. … Blackhawks C Nick Schmaltz played his 100th NHL game.
Wild: Host Winnipeg on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: Host Winnipeg on Friday night.