The Blackhawks are coming off their worst loss of the month when they were shutout by the Dallas Stars. The trip began with a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday. It was the team's fourth straight victory and eighth in 10 games.
While the Blackhawks are on the rise, Carolina was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Rangers on Saturday.
Chicago took the first game against Carolina with a 5-2 win. Jonathan Toews scored two goals and picked up an assist for a three-point night. The Blackhawks will look for their second season sweep of the Hurricanes, while Coach Joel Quenneville is one win away from 750 and Toews is one point shy of 500 for his career.
The Blackhawks are in third place in the Central Division, where they are five points ahead of Minnesota. Chicago is four back of Nashville and five behind the team down south in first-place.
Crawford is 4-2-0 with a 2.31 goals-against average in six career games against Carolina.
Fun fact of the day:
Carolina head coach Bill Peters coached Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford in Rockford. #Blackhawks— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) March 23, 2015
Peters coached the IceHogs for three seasons form 2008-11. Carolina assistant Steve Smith spent six seasons with the Blackhawks during his 16-year playing career.
Here are the likely lines:
Looks like Rundblad, Carcillo and Desjardins are the #Blackhawks scratches tonight.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) March 23, 2015
Opponent Breakdown: Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina has lost three straight and six of its last seven games. The Hurricanes are 2-5-3 in March with Saturday's loss to the Rangers.
Center Elias Lindholm has been a bright spot for the Hurricanes this season. Lindholm, a 2013 first-round pick, has 16 goals for third-most on the team, including two in his last three games. Captain Eric Staal has struggled as he hasn't registered a point in his last six gams. Staal leads the team with 19 goals and is two points shy of Justin Faulk (45 points) for the team lead in points.
The Staal brother duo hasn't quiet packed the punch this season as Jordan Staal, has played in just 35 games this season after fracturing his leg in the preseason. Things never really got off on the right foot. Jordan has two points in 10 games during March.
Backup Anton Khudobin will start in net, he is 8-14 with a 2.64 GAA and .903 save percentage in 30 games this season.
Chicago: Patrick Kane (collarbone)
Carolina: Riasmus Rissanen (MCL) and Jack Hillen (concussion)
When: 6 p.m. CT
Where: PNC Arena