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.
-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins forward Steve Webb. Claimed off waivers from the Flyers early in the 2003-04 season, Webb's Penguins career amounted to five games and no points that campaign. At the trade deadline, he was dealt to the Islanders in exchange for Alain Nasreddine.
The Penguins had six players appear in every game of this shortened but compacted 48-game schedule. For the sake of comparison, they only had four players appear in every contest of the typical 82-game slate in 2011-12.
Which is tougher to accomplish? The sprint of 48 games in 99 days with little in the ways of extended multi-day breaks or the marathon of 82 games over 185 days with trips to the Western Conference included?
The six players who appeared in all 48 games this season for the Penguins as well as the team's head coach recently weighed in on the difference
Pascal Dupuis (above, with Matt Cooke), RW - "We played the last 48 (games) in 103 (days) last year. It wasn’t any different for me than any other season for me travel-wise or game-wise. That’s what we did down the stretch basically (last season)."
Chris Kunitz, LW - "They’re all tough. This one obviously, there was hockey every day for 99 or 100-some days. There wasn’t many breaks in between until the end of the year. It was hockey all the time. You get home, you prepare for the next game and there was another game coming. It was different."
Tanner Glass, LW - "I’d say the 82 just by the sheer number of games. I got to 78 last year and broke my foot so I’ll say 82."
Brandon Sutter (right), C - "I think 82 is definitely a grind. I think if you ask around the room, a few of the guys would say they wish every year was 48 games. Eight-two [games] is long. You forget how long it is when you play a short season. Obviously we played a lot of games in a short amount of time [this season] but I think still the 82 games is definitely more of a challenge."
Craig Adams, RW - "I don’t know. I think each year is different whether you’re battling injuries or having to play though things or you’re playing well or not as well as you like. This season I’ve had a few things here and there just like everybody. It seems like it’s gone by quickly. It’s been a smooth ride."
Matt Cooke, LW - "I think they’re equally as hard and probably for different reasons. It’s tough to put a full season together. It’s not an easy thing to do."
Dan Bylsma, head coach - "This season playing all the games I think is more impressive. The amount of training camp and the situation coming into a season starting in January were generally speaking in not as good of shape as they would be coming into a September camp. Camp was only really six days. Players didn’t leave camp in the shape they would leave a full three-week camp. So to be able to play all 48 games in a shorter period of time is a bigger accomplishment than a regular 82-game season."
(Photos: Cooke/Dupuis-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Sutter-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
-Today would've been the 75th birthday of former Penguins forward Mel Pearson. Claimed in the 1967 expansion draft from the Blackhawks, Pearson's Penguins career amounted to two games and one assist with the 1967-68 club. After being loaned for most of the next two seasons, he was traded to Portland of the WHL for cash during the 1969 offseason. He died in 1999 at the age of 60.
-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins forward Doug Shedden (right). A fifth-round pick in 1980, Redden spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1981-82, Shedden saw action in 38 games and scored 25 points. He followed that up in 1982-83 by playing in 80 games and scoring a team-leading 67 points. During 1983-84, he was limited to 67 games and 57 points. In 1984-85, Shedden appeared in 80 games and contributed 67 points. After 67 games and 66 points in 1984-85, Shedden was traded to the Red Wings in exchange for Ron Duguay. In 332 games with the Penguins, Shedden scored 282 points, 23rd-most in franchise history. The first player in franchise history to score a home overtime goal in the regular season, Shedden is currently the coach of EV Zug in Switzerland.
-Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had some strong parting words with the Philadelphia media:
-The Islanders recalled forwards Brock Nelson, John Persson, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, defensemen Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness and goaltender Anders Nilsson from Bridgeport of the AHL.
-Jean-Gabriel Paggeau and Kyle Turris each had a goal and an assist for the Senators in a 4-2 win against the Bruins. Erik Karlsson recorded two assists for Ottawa while teammate Robin Lehner made 34 saves. Dennis Seidenberg led Boston with a goal and an assist.
-Ottawa's Chris Neil and Boston's Milan Lucic had a spirited bout:
-Boston's Dennis Seidenberg got everything on this shot:
-Ottawa's Marc Methot > Boston's Wade Redden:
-The crew at TD Garden didn't wast time getting the ice ready for the playoffs:
-Boston's Tuukka Rask stopped Ottawa's Erik Condra here:
-EN Says: The Stars have been spinning their wheels for the past five seasons. The haven't progressed or even regressed during that time. Nill, who was seemingly destined to be a general manager for several years, should provide a sense of direction for this wayward franchise.
-The Stars assigned forwards Alex Chiasson, Reilly Smith and defenseman Alex Chiasson to Texas of the AHL.
IIHF World Championships
-Team Canada named goaltenders Devan Dubnyk (Edmonton), Michael Garnett, (Traktor Chelyabinsk - KHL), Mike Smith (Phoenix Coyotes NHL), defensemen T.J. Brodie (Flames), Brian Campbell (Florida), Brenden Dillon (Dallas), Jay Harrison (Carolina), Stéphane Robidas (Dallas), Luke Schenn (Philadelphia), Justin Schultz (Edmonton), forwards Matt Duchene (Colorado), Jordan Eberle (Edmonton), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia), Taylor Hall (Edmonton), Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado), Matt Read (Philadelphia), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia), Jeff Skinner (Carolina), Eric Staal (Carolina), Jordan Staal (right) (Carolina) and Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay) to its roster for next month's IIHF World Championships.