Chicago Blackhawks 25 pts (11-8-3)
Anaheim Ducks 24 pts (10-9-4)
7:30 p.m. CT
United Center – Chicago, IL
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN 720 AM
ANA @ CHI
ANA @ CHI
CHI @ ANA
Patrick Kane, 22
Rickard Rakell, 18
Artem Anisimov, 10
Rickard Rakell, 8
Patrick Kane, 13
Corey Perry, 13
The Chicago Blackhawks will begin their busiest week of the season against the Anaheim Ducks tonight. They will play five times over the next seven nights, all against Western Conference opponents.
Head coach Joel Quenneville will not make any changes to his lineup, which has gone 3-1-1 over their last five games. If players like Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews all start producing like we know they are capable of doing, Quenneville will have to make fewer line changes going forward. We saw signs of all three of these players breaking out during last week’s two-game road trip to Florida.
The race for a playoff spot is expected to be a tight one all season long. The Blackhawks are one point behind the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks for a wild card spot and the Ducks are just one point behind them.
The Ducks have been able to tread water even though they have had a done of key players go down to injury this season. Captain Ryan Getzlaf has been limited to just six games. Patrick Eaves has only played twice. Ryan Kesler, although healthy enough walk around the Ducks office naked, has yet to make his season debut. And now leading scorer Rickard Rakell is back in Anaheim nursing an upper-body injury.
The Ducks come into tonight’s game losers of three straight and have just four wins in their last 10 games. If there is a team that is ripe for the picking, it is these Ducks!
Probable Blackhawks Lineup
Brandan Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Ryan Hartman - Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden
Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Corey Crawford (10-7-1, 2.16 GAA, .935 save %, 2 SO)
RW-Marian Hossa (skin infection) out, RW-Jordan Tootoo (upper-body) out, D-Michal Rozsival (upper-body) out
Probable Ducks lineup
Nick Ritchie - Derek Grant - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Chris Wagner - Jakob Silfverberg
Logan Shaw - Antoine Vermette - Kevin Roy
Mike Liambas - Dennis Rasmussen - Korbinian Holzer
Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson
Cam Fowler - Sami Vatanen
Kevin Bieksa - Brandon Montour
John Gibson (7-8-1, 2.87 GAA, .923 save %, 0 SO)
C-Ryan Kesler (hip) out, RW-Patrick Eaves (lower-body) out, C-Ryan Getzlaf (facial surgery) out, RW-Jared Boll (undisclosed) out, RW-Ondrej Kase (concussion) out, C-Rickard Rakell (upper-body) out