The Chicago Blackhawks continue their three game road trip with a second game in Florida, as the Hawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in the Amalie Arena.
Chicago (48-21-6) stumbles into tonight’s contest after being shutout against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Hawks still hold the lead in the Central Division over the Minnesota Wild by seven points, with seven games left in the regular season. Tampa Bay (36-29-9) is coming off a victory over the Red Wings in overtime, holding the fifth spot in the Atlantic Division with 81 points. The Lightning trail the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference by three points.
Scott Darling will get the start in goal for Chicago. Darling has been called into two of the last three games after Corey Crawford struggled against Vancouver and Florida. With Crawford allowing ten goals in his last three starts, Darling will start to give Corey some much needed rest. Scott Darling ranks fifth in the NHL with a 2.23 goals against average, and is tied for second in the NHL with a .927 save percentage. Darling’s last start was a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov has been red hot over the last four games, scoring seven goals and adding two assists for a total of nine points. Kucherov’s 38 goals are the second most in the NHL, and his 78 point total is the highest on the team. His linemate Victor Hedman holds the third highest point total among defensemen in the league, with 15 goals and 47 assists. Tampa returns home tonight after winning back to back games on the road.
Chicago leads the all-time series 21-19-5, with a 7-11-3 record in Tampa. Both teams have met only one other time this season, with the Lighting winning 5-2 over Chicago in the United Center.
For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning, check out SB Nation’s Raw Charge.
How to watch Blackhawks at Lightning
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.
TV: NBCSN, CSN Chicago
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live