Game Preview : Start Strong Finish Stronger

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Blackhawks (72 pts 34-5-4) vs Phoenix Coyotes (44 ots 18-17-8) 7:30 PM United Center - Chicago IL TV: WGN Radio:97.9 FM The Loop

Season Series

Date Score W. Goal
Apr 20 '13
Feb 07 '13 CHI 6 at PHX 2 D. Bolland
Jan 20 '13 CHI 6 at PHX 4 M. Hossa

The Chicago Blackhawks started this short season white hot and they are finishing it up just as hot. They have won their last seven games and are 9-0-1 since their last loss to the Ducks on 3/29. The Hawks played down their competition last night in their overtime win over Nashville. They could have the same problem tonight as the Coyotes come in on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go. A win tonight, and the Blackhawks can sweep yet another seasons series from a Western Conference foe. I wouldn't expect any changes to the lines from last night. Q won't speak to the media until 5:30, so we won't know who gets the start in goal until then. Right now I am going to guess Corey Crawford will get the call again. He has been well rested of late so going back to back nights shouldn't be too big of an issue.

The Coyotes are currently 5 points out of a playoff spot with 5 games to go, but will have to leap frog over 3 teams to get there. Needless to say the Yotes are going to have to win out and get some help in order to sneak into the post season. With the Raffi Torres story line having been removed after his trade to San Jose, it would be nice to be the team that delivers the death blow to the 2013 Coyotes. Head coach Dave Tippett mentioned to the media that injured goal Mike Smith could return to action tonight. Considering the Hawks have lit Smith up for 12 goals in two games this year, he may want to hold him out for one more night. If Smith doesn't go, Chad Johnson will make his first career start against the Hawks.

Probable Blackhawks lineup

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Dan Carcillo - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg
Marcus Kruger - Michal Handzus - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy - Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya - Sheldon Brookbank

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 18-4-4, 2.00 GAA, .923 save %, 3 SO

Injuries

Patrick Sharp (upper body) OUT, Ray Emery (lower body) OUT, Michal Rozsival (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 43 21 28 49 12 8 8 2
J. Toews 43 21 25 46 28 25 2 4
M. Hossa 36 17 12 29 18 14 4 6
D. Keith 43 3 23 26 18 31 2 0
B. Saad 42 10 15 25 16 8 0 2

Probable Coyotes lineup

Forwards

Radim Vrbata - Martin Hanzal - Shane Doan
Chris Conner - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker
Rob Klinkhammer - Boyd Gordon - David Moss
David Schlemko - Chris Brown - Kyle Chipchura

Defensive Pairings

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek
Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Michael Stone - Rostislav Klesla

Goaltender

Chad Johnson 2-0-2, 1.22 GAA, .954 SO, 1 SO

Injuries

Mike Smith (lower body) questionable, Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
M. Boedker 43 7 18 25 -1 10 3 2
S. Doan 43 13 11 24 5 31 0 2
K. Yandle 43 9 15 24 1 44 4 2
R. Vrbata 29 8 14 22 1 12 2 0
O. Ekman-Larsson 43 3 19 22 6 24 0 1

PHX Stats CHI
43 GP 43
18 W 34
17 L 5
8 OT 4
44 P 72
0.512 P% 0.837
2.51 G/G 3.21
2.58 GA/G 2.02
14.9 PP% 16.6
82.7 PK% 86.4
30.6 S/G 31.2
30.2 SA/G 26
52.2 FO% 50.9

Chicago Blackhawks Tickets



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