The Chicago Blackhawks and Central Division rival St. Louis begin a home-and-home series Wednesday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
After winning six consecutive games to climb into the playoff picture, the Blues (43-30-6, 92 points) to have dropped their last three and are only one point behind the Colorado Avalanche (42-29-9, 93 points) for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The Avs and Blues end their regular season Saturday at Colorado, which could end up deciding what team makes the playoffs. But first the Blues meet the Hawks (32-37-10, 74 points).
If Colorado loses Thursday night at San Jose, St. Louis can afford to split the two games against the Hawks and still get in. But Chicago has a new goal to end their rival’s season.
It’ll be tough task for the Hawks, who have lost both meetings against the Blues this season including a 5-4 overtime loss March 18 in Chicago. And the Hawks enter Wednesday’s game after a 5-0 beat down last Friday at Colorado.
Chicago rookie Alex DeBrincat scored his third career NHL hat trick in the Hawks last outing against St. Louis. DeBrincat is third among NHL rookies with 27 goals this season. He sits one goal behind Denis Savard for fifth in franchise history for goals scored by a rookie.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville confirmed following the team’s morning skate Tuesday that center Jonathan Toews will miss his sixth straight game Wednesday with an upper-body injury. Quennville added that Toews could be ready for Friday’s home finale against St. Louis.
Chicago also recalled goaltender Jeff Glass from the AHL and assigned goaltender Collin Delia to Rockford. J-F Berube, who will start in net against the Blues, is 0-0-1 in two appearances against St. Louis.
|F1||Brandon Saad - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane|
|F2||Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Andreas Martinsen|
|F3||Alex DeBrincat - Victor Ejdsell - Dylan Sikura|
|F4||Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook|
|D2||Erik Gustafsson - Connor Murphy|
|D3||Blake Hillman - Jordan Oesterle|
|F1||Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler|
|F2||Nikolaj Ehlers - Paul Stastny - Patrik Laine|
|F3||Mathieu Perreault - Andrew Copp - Bryan Little|
|F4||Brandon Tanev - Adam Lowry - Joel Armia|
|D1||Josh Morrissey - Tyler Myers|
|D2||Joe Morrow - Dustin Byfuglien|
|D3||Ben Chiarot - Tucker Poolman|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Blackhawks at Blues
Start time: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
TV: NBC Sports Network