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Game Preview : Like An Avalanche Coming Down A Mountain

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Chicago Blackhawks (43 pts 20-0-3) vs Colorado Avalanche (20 pts 8-9-4) 7 PM United Center - Chicago, IL. TV: NBCSN Radio: WGN 720 AM

Jonathan Daniel

Tonight we get our first look at the Colorado Avalance, one of our biggest rivals. Well, at least that is what the folks at NBC will want us to believe on the Rivalry Wednesday coverage. With the Avs and the Hawks becoming division mates next year maybe a rivalry can form, but as of now there is just nothing between these two franchises. Wonder if we are going to hear about Patrick Roy and his Stanley Cup rings in his ears tonight? All three games with Colorado will be played within the next 12 days including a game in Denver Friday night. The Blackhawks sent Brandon Bollig back down to Rockford this afternoon in a move that should have been made the last day of training camp. This must mean that Steve Montador is close to returning to the Hawks lineup. Ray Emery will get the start tonight and will look to remain undefeated on the season.

The Colorado Avalanche have been struggling most of the season part are starting to get all their young talent in place. Ryan O'Reilly is back on the ice after his contract dispute and captain Gabrielle Landeskog is getting his legs back after missing nearly a month due to injury. Fatigue will become a factor tonight as both teams played last night. The Avs lost to the Red Wings, 2-1, in Detroit last night. The Hawks 3rd ranked penalty kill unit should be in good shape with the Avs 29th ranked power play over the next two games. But, with that being said, stay out of the box just to be sure. Semyon Varlamov gets the start in goal for Colorado tonight. Varlamov is 2-1 with a 1.96 GAA and a .936 save % in three career starts versus the Hawks.

Probable Chicago Blackhawks lineup

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Dan Carcillo - Marcus Kruger - Jamal Mayers

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Ray Emery 9-0-0, 2.02 GAA, .926 save %, 0 SO

Injuries

Michael Frolik (illness) day to day

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 23 12 15 27 11 2 5 1
J. Toews 23 9 11 20 12 19 2 2
M. Hossa 23 10 8 18 8 12 2 4
P. Sharp 23 5 13 18 9 14 1 1
V. Stalberg 23 6 6 12 8 10 0 1

Probable Colorado Avalanche lineup

Forwards

Jamie McGinn - Matt Duchene - P.A. Parenteau

Gabriel Landeskog - Paul Stastny - David Jones

John Mitchell - Ryan O'Reilly - Aaron Palushaj

Cody McLeod - Mark Olver - Chuck Kobasew

Defensive Pairings

Jan Hejda - Tyson Barrie

Matt Hunwick - Ryan O'Byrne

Shane O'Brien - Stefan Elliott

Goaltender

Semyon Varlamov 6-8-3, 2.79 GAA, .910 save %, 2 SO

Injuries

Erik Johnson (head) OUT, Ryan Wilson (ankle) OUT, Steve Downie (knee) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Parenteau 21 9 10 19 5 28 2 1
M. Duchene 20 7 12 19 3 10 0 1
P. Stastny 21 6 7 13 -4 6 1 1
J. McGinn 21 3 9 12 -3 20 0 2
J. Mitchell 20 6 4 10 6 8 1 0

COL
Stats
CHI
21 GP 23
8 W 20
9 L 0
4 OT 3
20 P 43
0.476 P% 0.935
2.38 G/G 3.13
2.9 GA/G 1.78
12.3 PP% 17.2
77.8 PK% 88.8
29.2 S/G 30.7
32 SA/G 27
49.8 FO% 50.1

Chicago Blackhawks Tickets