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Blackhawks Vs. Wild: Hawks Head North In Search Of Victory

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to bounce back from a poor defensive effort when they visit the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

The Blackhawks lost for the third time in four games on Friday night, dropping a 7-4 decision to visiting Edmonton, which had won just two games on the season coming into the contest. Sam Gagner scored twice while rookies Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle each had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who led the game 4-2 after the first period at United Center.

Patrick Sharp had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks. Marty Turco started in net, but was pulled after giving up four goals on 12 shots in the first period. Corey Crawford allowed two goals on nine shots in relief.

"It's disappointing. It just seemed like we have one breakdown and it costs us every time," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said.

The Blackhawks were playing their first game without star winger Marian Hossa, who suffered an upper-body injury against Los Angeles on Wednesday and is expected to miss the next few weeks. Hossa is second on the club to Sharp with seven goals this year.

Chicago is 2-1-1 on the road this season and will also visit the New York Rangers on Monday.

The Wild ended a two-game losing streak their last time out, defeating the visiting Washington Capitals in regulation by a 2-1 score. Tonight, Minnesota, which lost in a shootout to Los Angeles two games ago, can record points in three straight games for the first time this season.

Niklas Backstrom stopped 21-of-22 shots to lead the Wild past Washington at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. Backstrom's bid for a shutout ended when Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:36 left in the third period.

Chuck Kobasew and Mikko Koivu lit the lamp for the Wild, who kept Washington winless in six tries at Minnesota since 2000. Koivu extended his point streak to five games and has one goal and four assists during the run.

"It's huge. They were the best team in the East last year," Kobasew said. "They score a lot of goals. We kept them off the board there until a minute and a half left, and found a way to play with the lead the whole game."

Forwards Antti Miettinen (illness) and Guillaume Latendresse (groin) missed Thursday's game, while defenseman Cam Barker has sat out the last three tests with a groin injury. Miettinen and Barker are questionable for tonight and Latendresse is expected to miss this evening's game.

Minnesota, which is 3-2-1 as the host this year, is playing the third game of a five-game homestand tonight. The Wild will host San Jose and Calgary next week before setting out on a four-game road trip.

The Blackhawks won three out of four against Minnesota last year and has taken six of 10 overall in the series. Chicago has dropped two of three, three of five and 11 of its last 14 tests in St. Paul.