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Blackhawks vs. Sharks game preview 2016: Chicago looks for fourth straight win

Chicago forward Artemi Panarin (illness) could play against San Jose. If not, Jiri Sekac is expected to fill in.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Artemi Panarin missed Tuesday's morning skate due to an illness. but he could play when the Chicago Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks at United Center.

Panarin did practice Monday, but did not participate in Tuesday's practice. Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters he could still play. If Panarin cannot play, Jiri Sekac figures to draw into the lineup. Sekac has not recorded a point in two games since Chicago (36-16-4) acquired him from Anaheim on Jan. 21.

The Hawks picked up their third straight win with a 5-1 rout of Central Division foe Dallas on Saturday. Patrick Kane, the NHL-leading scorer, tallied a goal and Artem Anisimov had a short-handed goal and three assists and Panarin had two assists. Anisimov has 18 goals and 14 assists through 55 games this season.

Chicago looks for a fourth straight win when they face the Sharks to open a four-game homestand. The Blackhawks are happy to be home after only playing two of its previous 11 at United Center. They boast a league-leading 21 home victories, including a 4-3 win over San Jose on Dec. 20. Jonathan Toews scored twice, including the game-winner in the 5-2 victory.

Corey Crawford, who has won four straight against the Sharks, will start in net.

Projected lines:



Opponent Breakdown

Sharks | Record: 27-20-4 | 58 points | 2nd in Pacific Division

San Jose is on the opposite end of Chicago as the Sharks are wrapping up a four-game road swing. The Sharks, who had a five-game winning streak in January, have gone 4-2-2 since.

The Sharks are among the league's best road teams with a 17-8-2 record. A win would earn them a split for their road trip after they fell 6-2 on Saturday in Nashville. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture scored for San Jose in the loss.

San Jose also sees offensive production from defenseman Brent Burns, who leads all NHL blue liners with 18 goals and is second in points behind two-time reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson. Burns is also an integral part of San Jose's power play, which is third in the league (22.1 percent). The former first-round pick has six power play goals this season.

Martin Jones is expected to start. Jones has allowed four goals in both games against Chicago this season.

Projected lines:




Blackhawks: Marcus Kruger

Sharks: None

How to watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: CSN Chicago