The Chicago Blackhawks get a chance to play the spoiler role on Tuesday night when they host the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center, the second meeting in Chicago between these teams in two weeks.
At that prior meeting, Jonathan Toews scored nine seconds into overtime for a 2-1 Hawks win, making a winner out of Jean-Francois Berube, who made 33 saves on 34 shots in that game. The Avalanche enter Tuesday’s game having won four of their last five games, including crucial regulation victories over the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues that boosted Colorado’s playoff aspirations. In all, the Avalanche have earned at least one point in 10 of their last 11 games and jumped into the top wild card spot with 86 points in 72 games. But they’re far from safe, with Anaheim occupying the second wild card spot with 86 points in 73 games, while Dallas (84 points, 73 games) and St. Louis (83 points, 72 games) remain within striking distance. Of course, it’s Colorado’s top line doing all the damage featuring, from left to right, Gabriel Landeskog (24 points, 32 assists), Nathan MacKinnon (team-leading 38 goals, 51 assists) and Mikko Rantanen (25 goals and 52 assists).
For the Hawks, the news this morning was the emergency call-up of forward Andreas Martinsen, whose presence at the morning skate likely means that Matthew Highmore will be out after departing Sunday’s game against the Blues with an apparent upper-body injury. Martinsen will need plenty of adrenaline after a sleepless night:
Andreas Martinsen played for the IceHogs last night and learned he was getting recalled after the game. He got up at 4 a.m. to take a flight from Des Moines to Chicago and then took a cab into the city. "The cab ride was probably longer than the flight," he said.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) March 20, 2018
He’ll skate on the second line with Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza, with the only other lineup change being in net, where Anton Forsberg will get the start.
Chicago is on the official brink of playoff elimination on Tuesday night:
Qualifications yesterday: none— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 20, 2018
Eliminations yesterday: none
Possible qualifications today: none
Possible eliminations today: Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit, Edmonton, Chicago
But spoiling the playoff hopes of a divisional rival would be much more fun.
|F1||Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane|
|F2||Andreas Martinsen - Nick Schmaltz - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|F3||Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Alex DeBrincat|
|F4||Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - John Hayden|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta|
|D2||Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook|
|D3||Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy|
|F1||Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen|
|F2||Tyson Jost - JT Compher - Sven Andrighetto|
|F3||Matthew Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau|
|F4||Alexander Kerfoot - Vladislav Kamenev - Gabriel Bourque|
|D1||Nikita Zadorov - Tyson Barrie|
|D2||Patrik Nemeth - Erik Johnson|
|D3||Duncan Siemens - Samuel Girard|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Avalanche at Blackhawks
Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago