Game Preview : Return To Full Strength

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Blackhawks (29 pts 13-0-3) vs San Jose Sharks (19 pts 8-4-3), 7:30 pm United Center - Chicago IL, TV: CSN Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM

Season Series:

Date Score W. Goal
Feb 22 '13
Feb 15 '13 SJS 1 at CHI 4 M. Kruger
Feb 05 '13 CHI 5 at SJS 3 P. Kane

The Blackhawks will have its full cast of characters for the first time since they opened the season in Los Angeles. Unless you have been living under a rock lately, we all know the Hawks can set the all time record for most games with a point to start a season if they can avoid a regulation loss tonight. Marian Hossa will play tonight after missing most of the 3rd period on Tuesday night due to a hit to the head from Vancouver's Jannik Hansen. Brent Seabrook will be taking his rightful place with Duncan Kieth on the Blackhawks' top blue line pairing. Seabrook missed Tuesday's game after taking a puck to the junk versus the Kings on Sunday. Daniel Carcillo will also return to the Hawks lineup, most likely taking a spot on the 4th line. We haven't seen CarBomb since the opener in LA, where he played 10:53, picked up an assist and was a +3 before injuring his knee. At least Adam Burish has someone new he can duck a fight from tonight!. Corey Crawford will also be suiting up tonight, but he will be backing up Ray Emery who gets the start in goal. Emery only gave up one goal on 28 shots last Friday night against these same Sharks. Except for the for the first 11 minutes these two teams played the Hawks have pretty much dominated the Sharks this season. Duncan Keith looks to keep up his hot offensive play as he enters tonight's game with six assists in his last five games.

The Sharks are in the midst of a season long six game road trip that will end Saturday night in Dallas. San Jose was finally able to end their 7 game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over the Blues on Tuesday. Their offense has gone ice cold after a fast start out of the gates. They averaged 4.14 goals per game during their 7 game winning streak to start the season. In the 8 games since, they have only scored 1.25 goals a game, You can not blame the Sharks recent struggle on goalie Antti Niemi, that's for sure. The Niemi we have seen in the two previous meetings is an illusion compare to how he has played this season. He has a 4.01 goals against average and a .881 save percentage against the Hawks this year. In his 10 starts against the rest of the league he is 7-0-3 with a 1.45 GAA and .945 save %.

Probable Chicago Blackhawks lineup:

Fowards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp -Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Daniel Carcillo - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Ray Emery 6-0-0, 2.27 GAA, .925 save %, 0 SO

Leading Scorers:

P. Kane 22 pts (9 G, 13 A)

J. Toews 15 pts (7 G, 8 A)

M. Hossa 14 pts (8 G, 6 A)

P. Sharp 14 pts (4 G, 10 A)

D. Keith 10 pts (1 G, 9 A)

Probable San Jose Sharks lineup:

Forwards

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat

Tommy Wingels - Michal Handzus - Tim Kennedy

Matt Pelech - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Defensive Pairings

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Brent Burns

Douglas Murray - Justin Braun

Goaltender

Antti Niemi 7-2-3, 1.86 GAA, .933 save %, 1 SO

Injuries

James Sheppard (lower body) OUT

Leading Scorers:

P. Marleau 16 pts (10 G, 6 A)

J. Thornton 16 pts (4 G, 12 A)

J. Pavelski 14 pts (6 G, 8 A)

L. Couture 12 pts (6 G, 6 A)

D. Boyle 9 pts (2 G, 7 A)

SJS
Stats
CHI
15 GP 16
8 W 13
4 L 0
3 OT 3
19 P 29
0.633 P% 0.906
2.47 G/G 3.31
2.13 GA/G 1.94
18.9 PP% 18.6
87.1 PK% 87.9
29.7 S/G 30.6
28.9 SA/G 28.1
53.6 FO% 50.4

Chicago Blackhawks Tickets

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