After an eventful morning that saw the departure of Viktor Tikhonov and the return of Bryan Bickell, the Hawks look to snap their three-game losing streak with an afternoon matchup against the Jets on Sunday.
Chicago took the ice for Saturday's morning skate looking for a solutions to the myriad issues the team has been facing during their current three game losing streak. Little to no scoring from all but the second line saw coach Joel Quenneville change up his lines once again, moving Andrew Shaw to the fourth line and moving Teuvo Teravainen back to the top line. Ryan Garbutt was moved to the third line and the top line of Teuvo Teravainen, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa was restored.
Corey Crawford will be in net and Patrick Kane will strive to make Blackhawks history and extend his 21-game point streak as the Hawks look to slow down a Winnipeg team that beat them in their last meeting and is starting to find some momentum. After another overtime loss in Ottawa on Thursday night, the Hawks are in need of a win to right the ship. Despite gaining one point, the Hawks only played one solid period on Thursday and once again the scoring was isolated to the Hawks' steadfast second line. As we've said repeatedly, the Hawks will need to come out with a fast start. They have had two days rest and the Jets are on the second day of a back-to-back after playing a tough Caps team yesterday. A strong first period could be make or break this game for the home team.
With Winnipeg trailing the Hawks by just two points, this afternoon's contest is almost a must win to keep the Hawks from dropping further toward the bottom of the Central Division.
Winnipeg Jets | Record: 13-12-2 | 6th in Central Division | Goal Differential -7
The Jets are currently sixth in the Central Division and have had a season filled with inconsistency, but looking back on last season, they know if they grind it out each and every game, success will come. Forward Blake Wheeler said recently, "Nothing came easy for us last year and it's not coming easy again this year. Hopefully nobody came into the season expecting that it would, because that's not who we are and that's not what we do. We all need to embrace the battle, because it's going to be that way until the bitter end. If we find ourselves on the right side of the line again, then we can throw another party, but that's a long ways away."
Winnipeg is expected to start Michael Hutchinson and coach Paul Maurice isn't expected to make any lineup changes as Winnipeg has won its past two games, including a dramatic overtime win last night against the Washington Capitals giving them a 5-3 record in their last eight games. The Jets are looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Projected Winnipeg Lines:
Jets: Ondrej Pavelec
How to watch
When: 4 p.m. CT
Where: United Center, Chicago