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Blackhawks travel to Columbus to face Panarin, Blue Jackets

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Chicago has its first winning streak since January 30.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

February had been a cruel month for the Chicago Blackhawks. But after a win on Friday night, the Hawks have suddenly won three of their last four heading into a Saturday game on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

And while this month has been cruel on the Blackhawks, it’s been just as bad for the Blue Jackets, who are clinging to the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus has only three wins this month, part of a 3-7-2 stretch over its last 12 games. The Blue Jackets’ most recent outing was a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Finding the net has been the biggest issue in those losses: Columbus has been held to two or fewer goals in nine of those games. Artemi Panarin has been everything Columbus hoped, with team-highs in goals (17), assists (32) and points (49). But the depth scoring behind him leaves plenty to be desired, putting Columbus at 27th in the league for goals scored. Combine that with a minus-12 goal differential, and there are plenty of reasons to worry about Columbus’ playoff aspirations.

While similar playoff aspirations are mostly gone for the Blackhawks, a recent trio of victories has things feeling slightly better around the team. Jean-Francois Berube was stellar in his first Blackhawks start on Friday night. Although Anton Forsberg is expected to get the tail-end of these back-to-back games, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Berube got the net again on Saturday, as coach Joel Quenneville has been known to ride the hot hand. Any other lineup changes won’t be known until the pregame press conference, but changes probably won’t be too prevalent given the team’s recent success.

Lineups

Blackhawks

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Vinnie Hinostroza
F2 Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
F3 Alex DeBrincat - Nick Schmaltz - Matthew Highmore
F4 Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Anthony Duclair
D1 Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle
D2 Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
D3 Erik Gustafsson - Carl Dahlstrom
Goaltender J.F. Berube

Sharks

Position Players
Position Players
F1 Evander Kane - Joe Pavelski - Joonas Donskoi
F2 Tomas Hertl - Logan Couture - Mikkel Boedker
F3 Timo Meier - Chris Tierney - Kevin Labanc
F4 Barclay Goodrow - Eric Fehr - Melker Karlsson
D1 Joakim Ryan - Brent Burns
D2 Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
D3 Brenden Dillon - Dylan Demelo
Goaltender Aaron Dell OR Martin Jones

*Lines are subject to change.

How to watch Blackhawks at Blue Jackets

Start time: 6:00 p.m. CT

Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus

TV: NBC Sports Chicago