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Blackhawks vs. Lightning game preview: Chicago goes for third straight win

Chicago aims for a season sweep against the Sunshine State teams.

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks aim for their third consecutive win and a sweep through Florida on Friday night when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak to Tampa Bay with a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago on Nov. 11. Patrick Kane had the lone goal in the tiebreaker and Corey Crawford made 25 saves. Ben Bishop made 37 saves for the Lightning, who are 4-1-1 in their past six at home against the Blackhawks with a victory in three straight.

Even without their star forward Kane, the Blackhawks were able to sweep the home-and-home set against Florida. Crawford made 20 saves for a 3-0 shutout victory. It was the second shutout of the season for Crawford, while Teuvo Teravainen, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews each scored.

Crawford is 1-1-2 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in four meetings against the Lightning. Backup goaltender Scott Darling, who made 34 saves, including two stops in the shootout and one on a penalty shot, picked up in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Florida in Chicago. Darling will make his first career start against the Bolts. He is 6-2-0 with a 1.96 GAA and .938 save percentage through eight games this season.

The Blackhawks sit in third-place and three pouts behind the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division.

Opponent Breakdown: Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay is well rested as they have been idle since Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, with net minder Andrei Vasilevskiy yielding all five goals on 18 shots.

Tyler Johnson surprisingly has been the team's point leader with 59 points. Johnson has scored at least a point in every game this month with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 11 games, including a goal and two assists in Sunday's loss. Steven Stamkos ranks second in the NHL with 32 goals.

Anton Stralman leads the Bolts blue line corps with 30 points (four goals, 26 assists) in 62 games. Stralman has also been productive lately with seven points (one goal, six assists) in the last six games.

The Bolts will play four of their next five at home and will likely start Bishop, who is 2-1-1 with a 3.49 GAA and .907 save percentage in four games against the Blackhawks.

Injury Report

ChicagoJohnny Oduya (upper-body) and Patrick Kane (collarbone)

Tampa Bay: J.T. Brown (upper-body), Matthew Carle (abdomen), Radko Gudas (knee) and Mattias Ohlund (knee)

Game Information

When: 6:30 p.m. CT

Where: Amalie Arena

TV: CSN, NHL Network

Radio: WGN-720

For Chicago Blackhawks tickets, check out Ticketmaster. Follow Second City Hockey on Twitter at @2ndCityHockey and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain.