The Chicago Blackhawks return home to the United Center on Wednesday evening for a preseason matchup against the Montreal Canadiens, one of the best teams in the East. The Hawks are coming off a dominant 5-0 victory over Edmonton in Saskatoon on Sunday, while Montreal just dropped its first preseason contest after winning three straight.
These are a pair of very good teams, and it should be an interesting test for both of them.
When and where? The game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT from the United Center.
How to watch: The game is being broadcast on CSN in the Chicago area.
Opponent Breakdown: Montreal
The Blackhawks have already faced some solid teams in the preseason, but Montreal may provide the toughest test yet after a busy offseason. The Canadiens lost Thomas Vanek to free agency, but managed to sign P.K. Subban long-term, make a nice trade for P.A. Parenteau and fill the roster with some depth.
Carey Price should be in goal for Montreal tonight, so it'll be a bit more challenging to rack up goals than it was against the Oilers. Most of the Canadiens' top players, including Subban, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec, are sitting out the game, but facing a high-level goalie should offer some challenges in itself.
With the Canadiens icing such a young team for the game on Wednesday, don't be surprised if Chicago does the same. We've already heard indications that Antti Raanta would play all three periods, so there could be a distinct "B" team feel to tonight's game.
What to Expect
If these teams are rolling out young lineups against Price and Raanta, respectively, don't be surprised if it's a somewhat low-scoring game. Outside of the five-goal outburst in Saskatoon over the weekend, the Blackhawks' offense hasn't exactly been clicking on all cylinders yet, and in a matchup against one of the league's most talented goalies, maintaining that production will be difficult.