Note: We will be previewing the each series on the day they begin.
(1) Blackhawks vs. (8) Wild
Blackhawks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Patrick Kane (right), 55 points (23 goals, 32 assists).
Wild Leading Regular Season Scorer: Zach Parise, 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists).
Blackhawks Expected Starting Goaltender: Corey Crawford, 19-5-5, 1.94 GAA, .926 SV%.
Wild Expected Starting Goaltender: Niklas Backstrom, 24-15-3, 2.48 GAA, .909 SV%.
Blackhawks Injuries: Forward Dave Bolland (groin) and goaltender Ray Emery (lower body) are day to day.
Wild Injuries: Forward Jason Pominville (head) is day-to-day; Forward Dany Heatley - (shoulder) is out indefinitely).
Blackhawks with Stanley Cup bling: Bryan Bickell, LW; Dave Bolland, C; Corey Crawford, G; Niklas Hjalmarsson, D; Marian Hossa, RW; Patrick Kane, RW; Duncan Keith, D; Brent Seabrook, D; Patrick Sharp, LW; Jonathan Toews, C.
Wild with Stanley Cup bling: Matt Cullen, C; Mike Rupp, LW.Something worthwhile about the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks allowed a league-low 2.02 goals per game this season.
Something worthwhile about the Wild: The Wild went 5-8-1 in April.
Something useless about the Blackhawks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first hat trick against the Penguins in their postseason history was scored by Blackhawks right winger Bobby Hull in a 6-5 win by Chicago in Game 4 of a quarterfinal round, April 9, 1972.
Something useless about the Wild that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first postseason overtime goal in Wild history was scored by former Penguins right winger Richard Park in a 3-2 home win against the Avalanche in Game 6 of a Western Conference quarterfinal series, April 21, 2003.
Former Penguins on the Blackhawks: Denis Bonvie, professional scout; Scotty Bowman, senior advisor - hockey operations; Daniel Carcillo, LW (Carcillo was a Penguins prospect but never played for the club at the NHL level); Marian Hossa, RW; Norm Maciver, assistant general manager; Michal Rozsival, D.
Former Penguins on the Wild: Chuck Fletcher, general manager; Mike Rupp, LW; Darryl Sydor, assistant coach; Mike Yeo, head coach.
Who needs to be the difference for the Blackhawks: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, etc. The Wild gets the bulk of its offense from the likes of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi. Chicago's blue line will need to clamp down on Minnesota's limited sources of offense.
Who needs to be the difference for the Wild: Niklas Backstrom (above). Simply put, Backstrom must steal the series if the Wild is to have a chance.
Best Blackhawks YouTube Video We Could Find: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews tying Game 7 of a 2011 Western Conference quarterfinal series, 1-1, with a short determined short-handed goal with 1:57 remaining:
Best Wild YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Wild left winger Andrew Brunette scoring a series-clinching Game 7 goal against the Avalanche in a 3-2 win during a 2003 Western Conference quarterfinal series:
EN Prediction: The Wild simply doesn't have the depth to keep up with the Blackhawks. Chicago's multi-faceted attack will overwhelm and undermanned Minnesota team which stumbled down the stretch. Blackhawks, 4-0.
(Photos: Kane-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Backstrom-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)