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Backstrom, Wild look to stay hot vs. Blackhawks

Chicago (3-2-3) at Minnesota (5-0-1) 8:00 p.m. EDT

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The only Western Conference team

without a regulation loss puts that distinction on the line when

the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

Minnesota sits atop the Northwest division, thanks in large part

to goaltender Niklas Backstrom.

The Finnish netminder has logged every minute between the pipes

for Minnesota, posting a 1.97 goals against average, which is

good for third in the NHL.

Minnesota's record would be spotless had it not been for a poor

third period against Buffalo Wednesday. Backstrom allowed a

pair of late goals that forced the game to overtime and Derek

Roy gave the Wild their lone blemish on the season.

Antti Miettinen is the lone Wild player who has more than two

goals with five, but he has been held off the scoresheet in each

of the last three games.

Chicago has earned a point in six straight games after dropping

its first two of the season, but are coming off a tough 6-5

shootout loss to Detroit in which it surrendered a 4-2 third

period league.

Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane have five goals apiece for the

Blackhawks, who will play a road game for just the second time

in two weeks. They are 0-2-1 in their previous three games away

from home.

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