Game Preview : Streaking To St. Lou

Dilip Vishwanat

Chicago Blackhawks (35 pts 16-0-3) @ St Louis Blues (22 pts 10-6-2) 7 pm Scottrade Center - St Louis MO, TV: CSN Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM

Season Series

Date Score W. Goal
Apr 27 '13
Apr 14 '13
Apr 04 '13
Feb 28 '13
Jan 22 '13 STL 2 at CHI 3 V. Stalberg

The Hawks can extend their record setting point streak against a shorthanded St. Louis Blues team tonight. The Blackhawks are becoming the talk of the town and media darlings again but the extra attention does not seem to have any effect on the team's focus. The Blackhawks are taking back to the road after a very successful 6-0-1 home stand where the Hawks found many different ways to win. If you count the shootout win against the Canucks, the Blackhawks have won their last 5 games by one goal each. The Hawks will be missing a key component to their lineup as well. 2nd line center Dave Bolland will not be making the trip south and will miss his third straight game due to an upper body injury. Corey Crawford will return to the net tonight. Crawford made 32 saves in a 3-2 win over the Blues back on January 22nd. Crow is also coming off his second shutout of the year Sunday night versus the Blue Jackets. It will be interesting to see what Q does with Daniel Carcillo and Brandon Saad. I think Saad will start with the 1st line but he will probably swap spots with Carcillo on the 4th line at the some point of the night, unless he score four goals in the 1st period.

The Blues are going to be missing some important pieces to their lineup tonight. Star rookie Vladimir Tarasenko was placed on IR with a concussion. Forwards Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen ran into each other at practice on Tuesday and both are expected to miss tonight's game. These loses are a huge hit to the Blues depth that they so greatly rely on. Last year St. Louis finished two points shy of winning the President's Trophy and their 22 points has them in 5th place in the Western Conference. The Blues are scoring at a higher clip this season than they did last season but the problem has been their goaltending, which was their strength last year. Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak combined for a 1.88 goals against per game, which was by far the tops in the NHL. This year Halak has been hurt and Elliot has returned to being the real Brian Elliot. They are giving up nearly one more goal a game this year at 2.83 per outing. Halak will be in net tonight and has been solid in his first two starts coming off his lower body injury. He only gave up 2 goals on a combined 40 shots against the Avalanche and Columbus. We will get to see a "clash of titans" of sorts every time an Indian Head gets sent to the penalty box. The Blues have the top power play unit in the NHL (30.6%) and the Hawks penalty kill is currently 2nd (88.7%) only training the Boston Bruins.

Chicago Blackhawks probable lineup:

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Marcus Kruger - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Dan Carcillo - Jamal Mayers - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 8-0-3, 1.50 GAA, .941 save %, 2 SO

Injuries

Dave Bolland (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 19 10 14 24 +9 2 4 1
M. Hossa 19 9 6 15 +6 12 2 3
J. Toews 19 7 8 15 +9 19 2 1
P. Sharp 19 4 11 15 +6 12 1 1
D. Keith 19 1 10 11 +2 27 1 0

St Louis Blues probable lineup:

Forwards

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Vladimir Sobotka - Patrik Berglund - Matt D'Agostini

Chris Porter - Jaden Schwartzv - Chris Stewart

Andrew Murray - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves (wow that is terrible!)

Defensive Pairings

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Goaltender

Jaroslav Halak 4-0-1, 1.70 GAA, .911 save %, 2 SO

Injuries

Alexander Steen (lower body) questionable, Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion) OUT, Andy McDonald (knee) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
A. Steen 18 4 12 16 +2 6 2 2
K. Shattenkirk 18 1 14 15 +1 10 1 0
C. Stewart 18 7 6 13 +0 20 3 0
D. Perron 18 6 7 13 -1 20 2 2
T. Oshie 18 5 8 13 -1 7 2 1

CHI
Stats
STL
19 GP 18
16 W 10
0 L 6
3 OT 2
35 P 22
0.921 P% 0.611
3.1 G/G 2.94
1.79 GA/G 2.83
18.2 PP% 30.6
88.7 PK% 78.8
30.7 S/G 28.7
27.5 SA/G 22.9
50.5 FO% 49

Only because this will never get old!!

Chicago Blackhawks Tickets

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