Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 3rd 2023


The Minnesota Wild will look to stay unbeaten since their coaching change when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon in Saint Paul, Minn.

Minnesota has won back-to-back games since veteran coach John Hynes took over behind the bench. Hynes replaced Dean Evason, who was fired on Monday after the team stumbled to a 5-10-4 record to start the season.

Hynes acknowledged that his new team seemed to be playing with a sense of urgency.

“They’re trying to make an impression,” Hynes said. “But same thing for me: I’m trying to make an impression on them, too.”

The Wild’s next test will come against Chicago, which will skate on short rest after a 3-1 road loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Rookie Connor Bedard scored his 11th goal, but it was not enough to keep the Blackhawks from falling to 0-2 on their road trip.

Chicago has lost two games in a row, three of its past four and eight of its past 10.

Anthony Beauvillier made his Blackhawks debut on Saturday and skated on a line with Bedard and Philipp Kurashev. He said he loved playing with the young, talented duo.

“A lot of fun playing with these two guys,” Beauvillier said. “(They’re) both smart players who can make a lot of plays at high speed. I’m just trying to win them some pucks and trying to get to the net. There’s definitely some stuff we have to build on, but overall (we were) pretty good, connecting some good passes and going up the rush.”

Beauvillier, whom the Blackhawks acquired this week from the Vancouver Canucks, is expected to miss the game in Minnesota as he waits for his U.S. work visa to be processed. He told reporters he is hoping for the process to be resolved by Monday.

Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the start. He is 3-4-2 with a 3.46 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage this season.

The 39-year-old Fleury is only six games shy of 1,000 for his career. He played for the Blackhawks during the 2021-22 season before they traded him to Minnesota.

Fleury has 547 career victories, which ranks third all-time. He needs four more victories to tie Patrick Roy (551) for second place. Martin Brodeur ranks first with 691 wins.

In 24 career games against Chicago, Fleury is 13-6-5 with a 2.52 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

Chicago expects to counter with Petr Mrazek in net. The 31-year-old is 5-7-0 with a 3.37 GAA and a .900 save percentage in 13 games this season.

Mrazek has faced Minnesota seven times in his career. He is 4-3-0 with a 2.28 GAA and a .918 save percentage in those contests.

Wild forward Connor Dewar is coming off his first career hat trick. He and his teammates feel like they are trending in the right direction and hope to keep that going against Chicago.

“Our confidence is building right now,” Dewar said. “And when we’re a confident team, we’re scary.”

–Field Level Media

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