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Blackhawks face Scott Darling, other familiar faces vs. Hurricanes

Chicago looks to find SOMETHING offensively against former backup Scott Darling

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

After struggling to produce offensively over the last few games, the Chicago Blackhawks travel to North Carolina to face Scott Darling and the Hurricanes. Only tallying one goal in their last two games, coach Joel Quenneville as retooled the starting lines to try and find something ANYTHING in the way of a spark.

Chicago (7-7-2) has struggled to find consistency in the offensive zone since opening the 2017-18 season with a combined 21 goals in their first four games, and reuniting Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, and Richard Panik on the top line might just do the trick. With John Hayden healthy scratched from the lineup tonight, Patrick Sharp will skate with the third line.

Not all has been grim and depressing for the Hawks, as they have found a successful formula in the penalty kill department. Chicago holds the sixth-best penalty kill in the NHL, with a kill percentage of 85.2 percent. They also have found a good way to stay out of the penalty box (for the most part) with an average 9.56 penalty minutes per game. The issue with tonight’s game though is how good Carolina is at staying out of the sin-bin. The Hurricanes have the lowest penalty minute average in the NHL with a 4.57 minutes per game average. If the Hawks are going to win, they will need to do it during regulation play.

The Hurricanes (6-5-3) begin a stretch of their schedule where they play six of their next eight games at home. Scott Darling has had a shaky start to his season, touting a .910 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average. The Canes are 4-3-3 this year when he’s starting between the pipes. Veteran RW Justin Williams leads the team with 12 points this season, and Jeff Skinner leads the team in goals scored (seven).

In their history, the Blackhawks are 35-31-7 against the Hurricanes. Chicago has won two out of their last five games against Carolina, including back-to-back losses at PNC Arena in their last two trips to Raleigh. Overall, Chicago is 14-19-4 against the Hurricanes away from the United Center.

Projected lineups

Blackhawks

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Brandan Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
F2 Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
F3 Patrick Sharp - Tommy Wingles - Ryan Hartman
F4 Lance Bouma - Tanner Kero - Alex DeBrincat
D1 Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
D2 Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
D3 Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
Goaltender Anton Forsberg

Hurricanes

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Sebastain Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
F2 Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Elias Lindholm
F3 Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Justin Williams
F4 Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris
D1 Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
D2 Haydn Fleury - Justin Faulk
D3 Noah Hanafin - Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Goaltender Scott Darling

How to watch Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes

Start time: 6 p.m. CT

Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.

TV: WGN