Chicago Blackhawks 46 pts (20-15-6)
Ottawa Senators 37 pts (14-17-9)
6:30 p.m. CT
Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ONV
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Date Game GWG
1/9 CHI @ OTT
2/21 OTT @ CHI
Patrick Kane, 40 Points Mark Stone, 40
Patrick Kane, 17 Goals Mark Stone, 17
Patrick Kane, 23 Assists Erik Karlsson, 23
We have reached an important moment in recent Chicago Blackhawks history as Brent Seabrook and his $6.8 million salary cap hit for the next six seasons after this one will be a healthy scratch in Ottawa tonight. While very few people will argue against the move, it is still hard to see Seabrook in the press box because of his poor play.
This is actually something that should be part of the game plan with players who have had a lot of hard mileage over the years like Seabrook, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews. Four to six games off during the course of the season would probably do some good, but they have dug themselves into such a hole that doesn’t seem like a possibility anymore.
Hopefully sitting out a game or two will have a positive effect on Seabrook like it did for Patrick Sharp and Ryan Hartman recently. Connor Murphy will return to the lineup and play the right side next to Michael Kempny.
Up front, the Blackhawks will roll the same lines we saw beat the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The recently recalled Tomas Jurco took some line rushes with both the second and third lines this morning, but he will not suit up tonight.
Anton Forsberg will make his second straight start in goal tonight. Although the lone goal he allowed was rather soft, he made 32 saves in the win and showed much better technique and rebound control than what we saw the previous four games with Jeff Glass.
This is a road game the Blackhawks need to win if they want to earn a playoff spot. The Senators are a dumpster fire right now and are a shell of the team that was one overtime goal from the Stanley Cup Final last June.
The big three-team trade for Matt Duchene has sparked all the teams involved except the Senators. The Colorado Avalanche have played their best hockey in two years over the past month and Kyle Turris has been a great fit with the Nashville Predators.
Meanwhile, Duchene has just six goals and 10 points in his 26 games in Ottawa with the Senators going 8-14-4 in that span.
Probable Blackhawks Lineup
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Vince Hinostroza
Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma -Tommy Wingels - Richard Panik
Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy
Anton Forsberg (2-5-3, 3.10 GAA, .909 save %, 0 SO)
RW-Marian Hossa (skin infection) out, D-Michal Rozsival (upper-body) out, G-Corey Crawford (upper-body) out, C-Artem Anisimov (upper-body) out
Probable Senators Lineup
Ryan Dzingel - Derick Brassard - Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman - Matt Duchene - Bobby Ryan
Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Tom Pyatt
Alexandre Burrows - Colin White - Gabriel Dumont
Thomas Chabot - Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci
Ben Harpur - Fredrik Claesson
Craig Anderson (11-12-5, 3.14 GAA, .899 save %, 2 SO)
LW-Clark MacArthur (undisclosed) out, D-Chris Wideman (hamstring) out, D-Mark Borowiecki (concussion)