The Blackhawks are back at the United Center on Friday for a Central Division showdown with the Avalanche, the third of five meetings this season. A Blackhawks win and a Wild loss Friday can put the Blackhawks back in the second wild card spot at 63 points.
Patrick Kane pushed his point streak to 19 games in Chicago’s 5-4 overtime win over Detroit on Wednesday, while his assist streak ended at 18 games. His point streak is tied for second longest in NHL history with Adam Oates (1992-93 Bruins). With 92 points, Kane leads the next Blackhawks scorer (Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews) by 31 points, and only trails Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov (100) for the league lead.
After Cam Ward’s win in Detroit, Collin Delia is expected to start in the net Friday. The goalie tandem is 10-2 in their last 12 games. Delia holds a 6-3-3 record, with a lofty .912 save percentage and a 3.43 goals-against average. He was pulled after allowing three first-period goals Monday.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook (abdominal strain) will miss his third straight game. Brendan Perlini (illness) and Drake Caggiula (eye) are also back in the lineup. Carl Dahlstrom (flu) is questionable, and the team will recall rookie defenseman Henri Jokiharju from the AHL.
After an eight-game skid, Colorado is 3-2-0 in its last five games to fall just out of the playoff picture. The Avs are tied with the Blackhawks and Coyotes at 61 points, which sits just one behind Wild for the second wild card.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov has only allowed four goals in his past four starts. He’s 16-15-8 with a 2.79 GAA and .911 save percentage. Backup Philipp Grubauer is 9-7-3 and hasn’t played since Feb. 12.
Despite the struggles Colorado has experienced, their former superstar line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog are still its top three in points: MacKinnon and Rantanen are tied with 77 points, while Landeskog falls in at 61 points.
The Blackhawks are 2-0 against the Avs this season, with Delia backstopping both victories in Colorado: 2-1 on Dec. 21 and 3-2 in overtime Dec. 29.
Caggiula — Toews — Kane
DeBrincat — Strome — Kahun
Saad — Anisimov — Sikura
Perlini — Kruger — Hayden
Keith — Gustafsson
Forsling — Koekkoek
*Dahlstrom — Murphy
Kerfoot — MacKinnon — Andrighetto
Landeskog — Jost — Calvert
Nieto — Soderberg — Rantanen
Greer — Agozzino — Compher
Girard — Johnson
Graves — Barrie
Nemeth — Zadorov
How to Watch
Time: 6:30pm, Central
Place: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago