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Blackhawks vs. Coyotes preview: Raanta to start, Nordstrom in

Chicago host struggling Arizona for first meeting this season

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Antti Raanta will get the start and the Blackhawks will look to break out of their recent slide when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday at the United Center.

Tuesday night's game will be the first of a back-to-back as the Blackhawks travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to start a seven-game road trip.

It will be the first of two meetings between the two teams, with the Blackhawks having won four of the past six contests overall.

The Blackhawks opened a four-game home stand with a win over Minnesota, but then dropped consecutive Central Division matchups to Winnipeg and Dallas. It was the first time since Nov. 1-2 they had a two-game slide.

Chicago is tied with the Jets for third in the Central at 58 points, four back of the second-place St. Blues.

The Blackhawks will be without forward Daniel Carcillo as he serves a suspension for a cross-check to Jets' forward Mathieu Perreault on Friday.

Joakim Nordstrom will slide into Carcillo's spot on the fourth line alongside Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith. Nordstrom logged just over six minutes of ice time in his last two games. He has two assists with 21 shots in 18 games this season.

Raanta is 13-0-2 with a 1.53 goals-against average and .947 save percentage at the Madhouse on Madison each of the past two seasons.

Opponent Breakdown: Arizona Coyotes

Arizona limp into the contest on a five-game skid, including a 4-3 shootout loss to the Jets on Sunday.

Winnipeg led 3-1 in the third period before Arizona tied the game in less than a three minute span to force overtime. Arizona notched a point in the loss for the first time after trailing by two scores.

Shane Doan had a pair of assists in his return after missing two games with a lower-body injury, but forward Mikkel Boedker left the ice with an upper-body injury. He leads the Coyotes with 14 goals this season.

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the lone All-Star for Arizona. He has 21 points this season, second among team blue liners. His 12 goals is tied for the league lead with Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien and Colorado's Erik Johnson.

Mike Smith, who made 27 saves in the loss to the Jets, is just 7-19-3 this season. A year ago, he recorded 27 wins. He is 6-4-1 in his career against the Blackhawks. He has a 2.72 GAA and .919 save percentage and three shutouts in 11 contests.

Injury Report

ChicagoKris Versteeg (hand) and Trevor vanRiemsdyk (knee)

Arizona: Mikkel Boedker (upper-body), Brandon Gormley (lower-body) and Zbynek Michalek (upper-body)

Game Information

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center


Radio: WGN-720

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