- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Wild and Blackhawks met five times in the regular season. The Wild won 5-3 in Chicago on Oct. 26, 4-3 in Minnesota on Dec. 5 and 2-1 in Minnesota on Jan. 23. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1 in Minnesota on Oct. 28 and 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago on April 3.
The Wild advanced to the second round by knocking off the Colorado Avalanche, the Central Division's top seed, in seven games. The Wild went 3-0 at home and 1-3 on the road in the series. Four of the seven games went into overtime.
The Blackhawks eliminated the Wild from the Western Conference quarterfinals in five games last season. Two of the five games went into overtime. The Blackhawks outscored the Wild 13-3 in the three non-overtime games. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 132-of-139 shots for a .950 save percentage in the series. Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp had five goals in the five games.
Forward Zach Parise led the Wild with 10 points in this season's first-round series. He had three goals and seven assists in seven games against the Avalanche. He had 29 goals and 27 assists in 67 regular-season games. He had one goal and a minus-7 rating against the Blackhawks in the playoffs last season.
The Wild were 3-for-16 on the power play against the Blackhawks during the regular season. The Wild were 16th in the league with a 17.9 power-play percentage during the regular season. They're 3-for-21 in the playoffs.
The Wild were 11-for-14 on the penalty kill against the Blackhawks during the regular season. The Wild were 27th in the league with a 78.8 penalty-kill percentage during the regular season. They're 22-for-25 on the penalty kill in the playoffs.
Wild forward Matt Cooke has three more games to serve in his seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on the Avalanche's Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their first-round series. Cooke had 10 goals, 18 assists and a plus-8 rating in 82 regular-season games this season. He had two goals and one assist against the Blackhawks this season.
Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper departed Game 7 against the Avalanche during the third period due to an injury. The extent of the injury was unknown after the game. He stopped 116-of-127 shots for a .913 save percentage in the series. He started the final four games of the series. Ilya Bryzgalov replaced Kuemper during the third period in Game 7. Bryzgalov started the first two games of the series and allowed eight goals on 45 shots in two losses. Five different goaltenders played for the Wild during the regular season.
The Wild finished the regular season with a 43-27-12 record and finished fourth in the Central Division. They went 6-3-1 in their final 10 regular-season games.
Wild forward Jason Pominville had a team-high 60 points in the regular season. He had 30 goals and 30 assists. He had four goals and one assist against the Blackhawks during the regular season.
Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy had six points against the Wild during the regular season. He had one goal and five assists. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had three goals and two assists, and forward Brandon Saad had two goals and two assists against the Wild this season.
The Wild averaged 33.3 shots for and 24.9 shots against during their series with the Avalanche. The Wild held the Avalanche to 12 shots on net in Game 4.
Defenseman Ryan Suter plays big minutes for the Wild, averaging a league-high 29:24 of ice time during the regular season. He's averaging 29:47 of ice time during the playoffs.
Wild forward Mikko Koivu has won 106-of-174 faceoffs for a 60.9 winning percentage in the playoffs.
The Wild averaged 27.7 hits a game against the Avalanche. The St. Louis Blues averaged 41.3 hits against a game against the Blackhawks.
Bryan Bickell and Leddy were two of the Blackhawks' top possession players against the Wild during the regular season. Bickell had a 70.7 Corsi percentage (the Blackhawks had 41 shots for and 17 against when he was on the ice in 5-on-5 situations. Leddy had a 64.2 Corsi percentage (77 shots for, 43 against).
The Wild's lines late against the Avalanche were Parise-Koivu-Charlie Coyle, Matt Moulson-Mikael Granlund-Pominville, Nino Niederreiter-Kyle Brodziak-Dany Heatley and Cody McCormick-Erik Haula-Stephane Veilleux. The defensive pairings were Suter-Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella-Jonas Brodin and Clayton Stoner-Nate Prosser.