Blackhawks Vs Wild Preview: Chicago And Minnesota Look To Improve January Record

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: Viktor Stalberg #25 and Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks smile as they leave the ice following a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on January 10, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks have struggled so far in the month of January, but look to make a statement at home against the Minnesota Wild.

After enjoying a great month of December, the Chicago Blackhawks (25-13-5) have started the month of January 1-3-1 and are looking to get back on track against a very solid Minnesota Wild team (22-15-6). The good news for the Hawks is that the Wild are battling their own demons and are just 2-7-1 in their last 10 contests. The Hawks are coming off a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in which Dave Bolland and Ben Smith picked up goals to go with the first hat trick of Viktor Stalberg's career. Ray Emery will once again get the start in net. He played well in the first meeting with the Wild, recording 27 saves en route to a 4-3 Blackhawks win.

The Wild are led by Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Matt Cullen, the three point-leaders and shot-takers on the team. The Hawks will be without Patrick Sharp, will miss up to four weeks with an upper-body injury, and Marcus Kruger (concussion).

Here are some quick facts to help you find the game on Thursday night:

GAME TIME: Thursday, Jan 12th, 7:30 p.m. CST at the United Center, Chicago, IL

TV: CSN-Chicago

RADIO: WGN 720 AM

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to visit Second City Hockey. Wild news and notes are available at Hockey Wilderness. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.

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