Preview: Blackhawks at Wild

By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 12:43 AM PST Jan 23, 2014    UPDATED: 12:43 AM PST Jan 23, 2014 

Although Zach Parise was an activate participant in practice, Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo stopped short of declaring the superstar fit to play in Thursday's home game against the Chicago Blackhawks. "We don't know that yet," Yeo said. "The plan was to get him involved, full duty in practice and see how he responds to that." Parise and company will make the final verdict following the team's morning skate to see if he ends his 14-game absence due to a foot injury.Minnesota has won two of the three meetings with Chicago this season, splitting a home-and-home series in October before Parise scored in his team's 4-3 triumph on Dec. 3. While the Wild reside in eighth place in the Western Conference, Chicago collected a point for the sixth straight game (3-0-3) with a 5-4 shootout loss to Original Six-rival Detroit. Former Red Wing Marian Hossa continued his scoring surge with his sixth goal in as many games.TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), FSN North (Minnesota)ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (32-8-12): Patrick Sharp scored his team-leading 26th goal on Wednesday to snap Chicago's 0-for-12 drought on the power play. The Blackhawks have scored with the man advantage in all three games versus the Wild this season (3-for-12). Patrick Kane, who notched two assists against Detroit, has collected two goals and two assists in three meetings with Minnesota this season.ABOUT THE WILD (27-20-5): Minnesota fell for just the third time in 10 contests with a lackluster 4-0 setback to Dallas on Tuesday. Niklas Backstrom returned to practice on Wednesday after receiving an injection of cortisone for a lower-body injury. Backstrom is expected to serve as Darcy Kuemper's backup on Thursday as Minnesota sent fellow goaltender Johan Gustafsson to Iowa of the American Hockey League. OVERTIME1. Minnesota D Ryan Suter has recorded 28 career points (four goals, 24 assists) versus Chicago, his most versus any opponent.2. Kane is mired in an 11-game goalless drought - his longest in five seasons.3. Wild D Nate Prosser, who scored both of his goals in the last three contests, will play in his 100th game on Thursday.PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Wild 1