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Game 40 Preview And Open Thread: Blackhawks @ Ducks

Puck Drop: Jan. 4, 9:00 PM CST


Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 19-17-3
Points: 41
Place: 4th in Central, t-11th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 18.1%, 15th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 82.6%, 13th in NHL
Blackhawks Team Statistics

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Anaheim Ducks
Record: 20-17-5
Points: 45
Place: 3rd in Northwest, t-7th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 15.7%, 22nd in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 80.8%, 20th in NHL
Ducks Team Statistics

Hawks Lineup:

Offense
1st line: LW Bourque - C Sharp - RW Kane
2nd line: LW Kontiola - C Lang - RW Ruutu
3rd line: LW Versteeg - C Perreault - RW Skille
4th line: LW Burish - C Dowell - RW Lapointe

Defense

1st pairing: Keith/Seabrook
2nd pairing: Barker/Byfuglien
3rd pairing: Richmond/Zyuzin

Goalie

Khabibulin

Scratches: Johansson (healthy), Koci (healthy)
Injured Reserve: Sopel, Adams, Toews, Havlat, Williams, Bolland, Wisniewski, Eager

I think it would be big for the Blackhawks to at least get a point in this game. They are playing a team that will be a tough match-up tonight, as the Ducks are 5-2-0 in their last 7 games and currently hold down the 8th playoff spot in the West. Finding a way to at least get one point from this game would be something for this team to build on and get some confidence from. These two teams met on December 7th in Chicago, with the Ducks coming out on top, 5-3.

The Hawks will have to battle similar to the way they did in Phoenix last night, but tonight they will have to do a better job of burying their scoring chances and getting pucks on the net. Khabibulin will also have to likely come up with some big stops to keep the Hawks in this one.