Having surpassed the halfway point of the season Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks begin the second half of the 2017-2018 season on the front end of back-to-back games. The Hawks (20-15-6) visit the Ottawa Senators (14-17-9) on Tuesday night looking to continue their push back up the Central Division standings after winning 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. Chicago currently sits one point outside of the wild card.
Brent Seabrook will not play Tuesday, as he is a healthy scratch from the starting lineup. After starting the season with three points in the first game of the season, Seabrook has become a polarizing topic of conversation in regards to the starting lineup and underwhelming performances. We’ve seen his ice time slowly drop to only more than 16 minutes per game, and his playing role with the team dwindle down to third line production. He only has one goal and 10 assists this season, despite playing in every game. Hopefully, some time off to recover both physically and mentally will see the core defenseman return to his old ways as the Hawks look to make a playoff push in the weeks ahead.
Head Coach Joel Quenneville will ride the recently hot hand of Anton Forsberg in goal, who put up a 32-save performance against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. The win was Forsberg’s first in regulation this season, as well as his first home win at the United Center. He holds a 2-5-3 record this season, with a 3.10 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
A big reason why Chicago is 3-1-1 during its last five games is due in large part to the success of their top line. With both Jonathan Toews and Vinnie Hinostroza notching seven points in their last four games (and Brandon Saad with six in that same span), the top line is a big reason why the Hawks are creeping up on a playoff spot. We’ll see if Patrick Kane can find the scoring column , as he has failed to score a point in his last two starts.
Ottawa comes into the contest on a similar 3-1-1 run as Chicago, but is in dire need of a second half push in order to make the playoffs. The Senators are also playing back-to-back games, traveling to Toronto on Wednesday after the final game of a three-game homestand. Mark Stone tallied a goal and two assists in both of the first two games, riding an eight-point run in his last five games.
It is the first meeting between Chicago and Ottawa this season, and the 33rd meeting between these franchises. The Hawks are 10-7 at the Canadian Tire Centre, with their last meeting ending in a 2-1 victory.
|F1||Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|F2||Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane|
|F3||Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Alex DeBrincat|
|F4||Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - Richard Panik|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle|
|D2||Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta|
|D3||Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy|
|F1||Tyler Ennis - Eric Staal - Zach Parise|
|F2||Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu- Joel Eriksson Ek|
|F3||Chris Stewart - Charlie Coyle - Mikael Granlund|
|F4||Marcus Foligno - Matt Cullen - Daniel Winnik|
|D1||Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon|
|D2||Jonas Brodin - Mathew Dumba|
|D3||Mike Reilly - Nate Prosser|
How to watch Blackhawks at Senators
Start time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, ON
TV: NBC Sports Chicago