The Blackhawks continue their four game homestand against the Flames on Tuesday at United Center.
Chicago (19-18-6) is coming off a 4-2 win against Detroit on Sunday where Dylan Sikura scored his first career goal and Adam Boqvist scored the game winner. It wasn’t one of the Blackhawks’ best performances, but a win is a win and Chicago needs every point they can capture as they sit six points from a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
In Sunday’s victory, the Blackhawks four goal scorers were all under 25, which is a testament to general manager Stan Bowman’s vision to build and develop a ‘young’ core that can supplement the ‘old’ core and take over the spotlight when necessary. One of those players that is inching his way into the future core is Dominik Kubalik. The 24-year old Czech winger scored his 12th goal of the season and is now second on the Blackhawks in goals scored. Kubalik is also in Chicago’s top four in shots on goal with 87 and individual scoring chances generated at 5-on-5 with 72.
Another potential member of the future core who has been producing as of late is Dylan Strome. The 22-year old center has six points (3 G, 3 A) in his last five games and has averaged a hefty 17:51 minutes of ice time. Strome will be looking to get his linemate Alex DeBrincat on the board as the Cat has only buried two goals in his last 13 games. Snipers are often streaky and one would think that DeBrincat’s 6.1-percent shooting percentage on 33 shots since Dec. 10 is bound to improve.
In Chicago’s last matchup against the Flames, Robin Lehner was excellent and made 41 saves in a 5-3 win on Dec. 31. Since Lehner is still nursing an injured right knee, Corey Crawford is slated to start for the Blackhawks.
On Sunday, Crawford picked up his first victory since Dec. 6 with 19 saves on 21 shots. He owns a 7-11-2 record and a .905 save-percentage this season.
Alex Nylander will draw back into the lineup for the Blackhawks for the first time in three games as Matthew Highmore will be a healthy scratch.
Stan Bowman on Alex Nylander: "It's a mixed performance ... but still encouraged by what he's shown. His best game can really impact us in a positive way, so if we can bring that out on a regular basis that will help the team." #Blackhawks— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 7, 2020
Calgary (22-17-5) has been rolling on the road with a 7-1-1 record in their last nine road games and are coming off two straight wins against the Rangers and Wild.
The Flames are expected to have Johnny Gaudreau back on a line with Sean Monahan against the Blackhawks. In the previous matchup on Dec. 31, Gaudreau was on the third line to start the game and was not a factor offensively until a secondary assist late in the third period. Chicago will need to ensure they have the most optimal defensive matchup against the Flames top line as Gaudreau and Monahan can wreak havoc in the offensive zone.
Cam Talbot is expected to start for Calgary. He won his last start against the Rangers on Jan. 2 with 24 saves on 27 shots. Talbot holds a solid .913 save-percentage in 13 appearances this season.
Chicago beat Calgary for the first time since Nov. 18, 2016 with a 5-3 victory on Dec. 31 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Blackhawks and Flames will only play at the United Center once this season and will complete their three game season series on Feb. 15 in Calgary.
Tale of the Tape
48.0% (24th) — Corsi For — 50.7% (12th)
46.0% (28th) — Expected goals for — 49.5% (17th)
2.90 (t-19th) — Goals per game — 2.70 (t-24th)
3.05 (22nd) — Goals against per game — 2.82 (13th)
15.3% (28th) — Power play — 19.1% (18th)
81.4% (t-12th) — Penalty kill — 82.3% (7th)
Kubalik — Toews — Quenneville
DeBrincat — Dach— Strome
Sikura — Carpenter— Kane
Smith — Kampf— Nylander
Keith — Boqvist
Gustafsson — Murphy
Maatta — Gilbert
Gaudreau — Monahan— Backlund
Mangiapane — Lindholm — Tkachuk
Lucic — Ryan — Dube
Bennett — Jankowski — Rieder
Giordano — Andersson
Hanifin — Hamonic
Brodie — Stone
How to watch
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app