Chicago looks to avoid their longest losing streak in over a year, they've lost a season-high three straight to fall to 2-2-3 on an eight-game homestand that wraps up tonight. The Blackhawks will then travel to the Sunshine State to play Florida again on Thursday before crossing the state to faceoff with the Tampa Bay Lighting on Friday.
The Blackhawks have won five straight games over the Panthers, including three-straight in Chicago. The Panthers last "road" win over Chicago was Oct. 2, 2009 in Finland.
Darling received a two-year extension upon being called up from Rockford, following the Blackhawks' 6-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday. He is 5-2-0 in seven career starts with a 1.97 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.
Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell each scored Sunday for the Blackhawks, who haven't dropped four straight since Jan. 22-28 of last year.
The Blackhawks will be without defenseman Johnny Oduya for a couple of weeks because of an upper-body injury. Chicago sits four points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets and five points back second-place St. Louis.
Blackhawks' lines during morning skate: Saad-Toews-Hossa, Sharp-Richards-Kane, Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg, Nordstrom-Kruger-Smith.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) February 24, 2015
Tim Erixon and Daniel Carcillo will likely be the healthy scratches. Coach Joel Quenneville said after practice something could happen after the game with Trevor van Riemsdyk. Likely meaning, he will head to Texas to join the IceHogs this weekend for a conditioning assignment.
Opponent Breakdown: Florida Panthers
Florida closes out a five-game road trip tonight before beginning a seven-game homestand Thursday. The Panthers won the first two on the trip before a 4-1 loss at Ottawa on Saturday and 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh the next night.
The Panthers have lost five of their past seven games and saw net minder Al Montoya allow five goals on 26 shots against Pittsburgh. Scottie Upshall had the lone goal for the Panthers, who trail the Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The last time the Panthers were in the playoffs in 2012, current Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen was at the helm. 2010 Stanley Cup champion John Madden returns to the UC as the Panthers' assistant. Tomas Kopecky, Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen and Brian Campbell are all Chicago recyclables as well. Dave Bolland and Brandon Pirri are out.
Roberto Luongo will start for Florida, he is 15-11-2 lifetime against the Blackhawks with a 2.24 GAA, .928 save percentage and four shutouts in 30 games.
Chicago: Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee), Johnny Oduya (upper-body)
Florida: Dave Bolland (upper-body), Brandon Pirri (upper-body) and Willie Mitchell (upper-body)
When: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center