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Blackhawks host Coyotes in need of a statement win

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After slipping by the Sabres, it’s time for the Hawks to blow out a struggling opponent.

Arizonia Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks earned a win over a terrible team Friday night, and they’ll look to do the same Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes. This is a game that the Hawks badly need to not just win, but also dominate against an inferior opponent.

That’s largely what happened in a 3-2 overtime win over Buffalo a couple days ago beyond the actual score. The Hawks skated circles around the Sabres for much of the game, but struggled to translate that into quality scoring chances on Robin Lehner.

The result was a flailing offensive effort that required a shorthanded goal in the final minutes of regulation, a save on a Jack Eichel penalty shot in overtime, and a last-second OT goal by Gustav Forsling to earn the win. Beating the Sabres, who are now tied with the Coyotes at the bottom of the NHL with 19 points, should’ve been easier than that.

The same will go for Sunday’s game against Arizona, so the hope here is that they’ll knock in the Coyotes’ teeth with a beatdown. Arizona has won just two games in regulation the entire season. Anything less than a lopsided victory would be considered a letdown for a team that badly needs two points.

Obviously this is just one game in mid-December and a long season will give the Hawks many chances to light a fire underneath themselves, but after dominating the shot distribution against the Sabres, it’d be nice to see that translate into a blowout win against a struggling opponent.

Starting lineups

Blackhawks

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Alex DeBrincat
F2 Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
F3 Patrick Sharp - Vinnie Hinostroza - Richard Pank
F4 Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden
D1 Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle
D2 Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
D3 Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Goaltender Corey Crawford

Coyotes

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Clayton Keller - Derek Stepan - Tobias Rieder
F2 Max Domi - Christian Dvorak - Christian Fischer
F3 Brendan Perlini - Dylan Strome - Anthony Duclair
F4 Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Zac Rinaldo
D1 Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers
D2 Jakob Chychrun - Alex Goligoski
D3 Kyle Capobianco - Luke Schenn
Goaltender Scott Wedgewood

How to watch Blackhawks vs. Coyotes

Time: 6 p.m. CT

Location: United Center, Chicago

TV: WGN