The hockey world might be treating us to a possible Stanley Cup Final preview when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena. The two most recent NHL champions remain near the top of the heap as the 2016-17 regular season winds down.
The Blackhawks are surely happy to be out of Florida as they wrap up a road trip in Pittsburgh. The Hawks lost back-to-back games against the Panthers and Lightning in ugly fashion, allowing a total of 12 goals as they looked like a team coasting its way to Game 1 of the playoffs.
A matchup against the Penguins, arguably the best team in the league, should be a wake up call of sorts, although they’re not quite at full strength. Pittsburgh is expected to be without Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, Olli Maatta, Carl Hagelin, Ron Hainsey, and Jake Guentzel for the matchup as injuries have taken their toll.
Still, the Penguins have Sidney Crosby up top, and rookie winger Conor Sheary has been an absolute roll with 25 points over his past 20 games. Between those two, Patric Hornqvist, and Phil Kessel, the Blackhawks’ defense should still have its hands full Wednesday.
As for the Hawks, Ryan Hartman returns to the lineup after getting benched Monday for poor performance. Tanner Kero also remains at No. 2 center, while Andrew Desjardins and Jordin Tootoo have been sat.
For more on the Penguins, check out Pensburgh, SB Nation’s Pittsburgh Penguins blog.
|D3||Campbell-TVR||C. Miller-K. Miller|
|Goaltender||Corey Crawford||Anton Khudobin|
How to watch Blackhawks vs. Penguins
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
TV: NBCSN, CSN Chicago
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live