No Jonathan Toews for the Blackhawks as they start the second half of the season against the Avalanche on Tuesday. The captain has been suspended for the game after skipping the All-Star Game in order to recover from an illness. Per NHL rules, he earned a one-game suspension for that.
Teuvo Teravainen is getting the bump up to the first line for the game. Teravainen has been playing wing next to Phillip Danault recently, but will return to the center position to match up against the likes of Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon on Tuesday.
The Hawks lost three of four entering the All-Star break but won a record-breaking 12 games in a row before that. The team clearly looked gassed by the end of the first half and needed that week off. Other than Patrick Kane, who was playing in Nashville over the weekend, the rest of the Hawks got some welcomed rest.
Chicago beat the Avalanche, 4-3, in overtime back on New Year's Eve, then followed it up with a 6-3 win over the division rival on Jan. 10. The season series is currently 2-1 Chicago entering the finale tonight.
One notable addition is defenseman Viktor Svedberg, who was recalled earlier Tuesday to take over for an ailing Michal Rozsival.
Avalanche | Record: 27-22-3 | 57 points | 4th in Central Division
Colorado has come together as one of the league's better offenses this season. A defensive corps led by Francois Beauchemin, Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson is lacking, but it's not easy holding off the firepower that the Avalanche have assembled this year.
Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Carl Soderberg, Gabriel Landeskog and Barrie have all topped 30 points this season. Jarome Iginla has also been productive with 13 goals, which ties him for fourth on the team. The power play, which ranks ninth in the NHL, won't be easy to stop if the Hawks get caught with a few penalties Tuesday.
There will be opportunities to score, though, and barring a ridiculous performance in goal, the Hawks will have their shots.
Blackhawks: Marcus Kruger, Michal Rozsival, Jonathan Toews (suspension)
Avalanche: Brad Stuart, Reto Berra, Jesse Winchester
How to watch
When: 8 p.m. CT
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV: CSN Chicago