By Steve SimmonsThe Chicago Blackhawks will play their final regular-season home game of the 2017-18 season against the Wild at Bridgedome on Saturday night, which means it’s time for another look at the biggest storylines from the weekend’s action.
The Blackhawks will face the defending Stanley Cup champions for the third straight time in the series.
Here are the key storylines:The Blackhawks have lost their last five games and are 3-3-2 on the season, the worst stretch since losing four in a row from Oct. 18-Oct. 27, 2008.
They have not won a game in regulation since Oct. 6-Oct 13, 2007, the longest drought in the league.
They will be without captain Andrew Shaw, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on Nov. 13.
Injuries have caused the Blackhawks to miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
The Wild are 3 1/2-game under .500 and are looking to build on their best start in franchise history.
The wild card is Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu (2 points, 4 assists) and Dallas’ Jamie Benn (1 point, 5 assists).
The Wild were in position to clinch the division this season, but their top scorer was injured and rookie Mikael Granlund missed four games.
They finished 12-3, but have lost five straight and have been without Benn, who missed four of the past six games.
Granlund was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers last month for an undisclosed amount.
They also signed winger Alex Tuch (1 goal, 2 assists) from the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
Minnesota will have a chance to move up into the Western Conference playoff picture after dropping two straight games.
The Stars were on the verge of clinching the West after beating the Wild in Minnesota on Thursday.
But after losing the final three games of the season to drop to 3-4-1, they have dropped five of six to fall to 10-17-6.