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Blackhawks vs. Senators game preview: Scott Darling starts in net

Scott Darling will start in net as the Hawks look to sweep the season series over the Senators in Ottawa on Thursday night.

Marian Hossa is two points shy of the 1,000th point milestone.
Marian Hossa is two points shy of the 1,000th point milestone.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks have hit a rough patch early in the season, and will try to avoid losing for the fourth time in five games when they visit the Ottawa Senators for Thursday's matchup at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Hawks have not won on the road since their season opener on Oct. 9 at Dallas.

Tuesday's matchup also marks the first of four straight games against Canadian teams.

Chicago (5-3-1) has lost three of its last four games, but their lone win in that span was against Ottawa (5-2-1) at the United Center. The Hawks posted a 2-1 victory behind a magnificent NHL debut from goaltender Scott Darling, who stopped 32 shots. The win was the fourth for the Hawks in their last five games against the Sens, who have won two of the last three games on its home ice. Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook both lit the lamp in the second period. Milan Michalek scored the lone Sens' tally on a short-handed attempt.

Darling played well again for the Hawks on Tuesday, stopping 34 shots in a 1-0 home loss against Western Conference foe Anaheim. The Ducks lone goal was a short-handed attempt on a breakaway. Darling has yet to allow a 5-on-5 goal. The shutout was the first of the season for the Hawks and the fourth straight game they were held to two goals or less.

Darling will be making his third straight start tonight, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times. Should Darling get trouble, No. 1 net-minder Corey Crawford is ready after participating in the morning skate. Crawford is 2-0 with a 1.91 goals against-average in two career outings against the Sens.

The Hawks currently are top the league in shots per game (38) and tied for first in goals-against (1.67), while posting a 92.3 percent kill rate on the penalty kill.

Marian Hossa will return to Ottawa where his NHL career began and is poised to reach 1,000 career points, as he currently has 998. It would be some kind of wonderful for Hossa to reach the milestone in his 1,100th NHL game.

Opponent Breakdown: Ottawa Senators

Ottawa stopped a two-game skid with a 5-2 road win at Columbus on Tuesday night. Clarke MacArthur scored two goals and assisted on another to lift the Sens to their fifth win in eight games. MacArthuer led the Sens with five points in two games against the Hawks last year.

Erik Karlsson netted the game-winner in the third period as the Sens scored three unanswered for the win. Backup goalie Robin Lehner earned the win after a 36-save performance.

Veteran goalie Craig Anderson is expected to make the start for the Sens. The former Hawk and Park Ridge, Ill. native, is 5-2-2 with a 3.24 GAA in nine career games against the Hawks.


Daniel Carcillo remains day-to-day with a knee injury.

The Senators are without defenseman Marc Methot, who is on IR with a back injury.

Game information

When: 6:30 p.m. CT

Where: Canadian Tire Centre


Radio: WGN-720

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