Rested since Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks are focused on making a statement against the Minnesota Wild Wednesday night in St. Paul.
"As of now it's our biggest game of the year," Chicago star Patrick Kane said Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Dangerous team. You look at the depth of their lineup, it's not like they have one or two superstars that are scoring all their goals. They have three, even four lines that can score."
It's the only game on the NHL slate Wednesday, giving it a national stage on NBC Sports Network. Of course Chicago is focused on showing the league what they're capable of against a Wild team that's won 24 of 30 games (24-5-1) since Dec. 4.
"For sure our most important game," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. "We gotta bring our A game and we gotta bring our best tomorrow night."
A win for the Wild will push their Central Division lead over Chicago to eight points with two games in hand. A loss would hurt, but not that much.
"They just have a ton of confidence," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, via the Chicago Tribune. "Even when they're not playing so well, they're finding ways to win. They're a tough team to beat right now, and it's something we'll be ready for."
Chicago's had Minnesota's number in the playoffs – and they could meet again this season in the second round – but the Wild are on an 8-game regular season win streak against their rival. It's one win shy of tying the franchise record for consecutive wins against an opponent.