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Blackhawks vs. Bruins game preview: Chicago faces struggling Boston in early game

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The 'Hawks might be having troubles lately, but on Sunday they face a Bruins team with even bigger issues.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks look to get back on track Sunday against the Boston Bruins coming off that brutal loss Friday night. It's a nationally televised day game so it's hard to imagine they'll come out as flat, plus I'm going to be in attendance and surely they realize what a BIG DEAL that is.

Dirty little secret: this is actually my first time attending a Blackhawks game at the United Center, despite the fact that I spend an outrageous amount of time writing about the team. Those tickets are pretty dang expensive, you know, and we unfortunately don't get press passes from the team. So this is my first time seeing the 'Hawks since a Capitals game in D.C. back in college.

But hey! The big day is here, and a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final seems like the perfect way for to take in the Madhouse for the first time. The Bruins have been a mess lately, too, so there's a good chance we see a better showing than Friday.

Opponent Breakdown: Boston Bruins

If you thought the 'Hawks were having some issues these days, go check out what's happening in Boston. The Bruins have lost six straight, including four in regulation, and are just one point ahead of the Florida Panthers for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Injuries have certainly taken a toll on the team, with David Krejci being the latest prominent name to get hurt, but the underlying numbers aren't pretty. The team is middle of the pack in possession stats and has a PDO right near 100, and it all adds up to a minus-3 goal differential.

So this isn't really the old, intimidating Bruins team of the past few years, even if many of the primary pieces are still in place. Part of the problem has been star goaltender Tuukka Rask, who's typically pretty stellar but has saved just 87 percent of the shots he's faced over his past five games.

I don't think anyone around here would be opposed to another poor start from Rask.

Injury Report

Blackhawks: Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee), Tim Erixon (lower body)

Bruins: David Krejci (undisclosed), Kevan Miller (shoulder), Marc Savard (concussion)

Game Information

When: 2:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center

TV: NBC

Radio: WGN-720