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Blackhawks vs. Avalanche game preview 2015: Chicago opens season series against Colorado

Chicago looks to snap a 7-game losing streak to Semyon Varlamov, who will start in net for the Avalanche.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crawford will start in net for the Chicago Blackhawks, who open their season series against Central Division foe Colorado on Tuesday night at United Center.

Crawford is on a four-game win streak, stopping 121 of 123 shots, including 30 in a 4-0 win against the Canucks on Sunday. The 30-year-old goaltender was named the NHL's No. 1 star of the week after posting back-to-back shutouts, and he currently is tied for the league-lead in clean sheets at four with fellow Central goaltenders Jake Allen (St. Louis) and Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota). Crawford is 2-6-2 with a 3.57 goals-against average in his last 10 games against Colorado.

The Blackhawks (17-10-4) will look to the NHL's leading scorer, Patrick Kane, to provide the offense for their third consecutive win. Kane has scored 16 goals during his 26-game point streak. The winger hasn't faired well against the Avalanche (14-16-1), failing to record a point in each of his last two contests against Colorado.

The Hawks acquired Rob Scuderi from the Penguins for fellow defenseman Trevor Daley on Monday. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters following Tuesday's morning skate that Scuderi will make his debut for Chicago with Michal Rozsival has his line mate. Scuderi, 36, has four assists and 32 blocked shots in 25 games this season and has won two Stanley Cups, with the Penguins in 2009 and the Kings in 2012.

Chicago is 12-3-1 at home this season, which ties the New York Rangers for most home wins in the NHL. Since their six-game Circus Trip, the Hawks have won four of their five home games.

Projected lines:



Healthy scratch: David Rundblad and Ryan Garbutt

Opponent Breakdown

Colorado Avalanche | Record: 14-16-1 | 7th in Central Division | Goal differential: -3

The Avalanche have won two straight games, over Nashville and St. Louis, to start their three-game, all-Central Division road trip.

Matt Duchene leads the Avs with 15 goals, tied for fourth in the league with Dallas' Tyler Seguin. But Duchene only has one goal in his past four games. In 22 games against the Hawks, he has six goals and 13 assists.

Semyon Varlamov, who stopped a season-best 42 shots to improve to 4-1-0 in December, will start in net. He has won his last seven starts against Chicago, while posting a 1.41 GAA.

Colorado is 10-9-0 on the road and 6-2-0 against Central teams. The Avs will play 11 of its next 13 games at Pepsi Center, including a New Year's Eve date with the Hawks to close out 2015.

Here's a quick rundown of the team's projected lines:




Blackhawks: None

Avalanche: Ben Street, Brad Stuart, Jesse Winchester

How to Watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: NBCSN, CSN Chicago

Live StreamNBC Sports Live Extra