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Blackhawks host streaking Bruins

Boston brings a four-game winning streak into Chicago.

Boston Bruins v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks will play their first home game of the second half Wednesday when they host the Bruins at the United Center.

Chicago battled back against the Wild on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with two third-period goals by defenseman Adam Boqvist and Olli Maatta, but fell 3-2 in overtime when Matt Dumba scored 2:21 into the extra session. It’s Chicago’s second loss in three games on the heels of a five-game winning streak.

The Blackhawks are led by Patrick Kane, who has 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 53 games, but everything falls off after him. Jonathan Toews has 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 53 games and hasn’t scored a point in three straight games after his six-game point streak (four goals, eight assists) ended. Alex DeBrincat has 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 53 games, but hasn’t scored a goal in five games and only has two goals in his past nine games.

Chicago is still in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot, sitting three points behind the Flames for the final wild-card spot. The Blackhawks hope their success in the second game of back-to-backs continues Wednesday as they’re a remarkable 9-1-0 in such games.

The Bruins are fresh off a 4-0 dominant win against the Canucks, and are only second in the League standings to the Capitals. Charlie Coyle sparked Boston’s offense with a goal and an assist while David Krejci also scored to back Tuukka Rask in a 25-save shutout. Boston is 13-3-3 against Western Conference foes, including a 7-2-1 mark against Central Division teams, but are a mere 1-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

The Bruins have had a fantastic offense, with the sixth-best goals per game (3.35 percent) and the League’s second best power play (26.8 percent). But their even strength metrics don’t match that success, as they currently have a 2.26 expected goals per 60 — compared to Chicago’s 2.4 — and a 49.7 percent high-danger share.

Having the League’s best PDO is probably a factor in the Bruins’ success, as they have one of the highest shooting percentages (10.6-percent) and one of the best goaltending tandems in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, who have a combined .922 save percentage. That’s also likely a factor of one of the best defenses, and in conjunction they’ve helped Boston to the fewest goals against per game (2.41).

The majority of the Bruins’ scoring comes from Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. Pastrnak has led the League in goals for the majority of the season, but he was passed Tuesday night by Alex Ovechkin, who scored a hat trick. Pastrnak, however, does lead Boston in scoring with 75 points (38 goals, 37 assists), which is six more than Marchand’s 69 (23 goals, 46 assists) in 54 games. Bergeron, who has missed nine games, has 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) in 45 games.

Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Bruins

48.3% (23rd) — Corsi For — 50.3% (13th)

46.2% (28th) — Expected goals for — 51.8% (10th)

2.96 (18th) — Goals per game — 3.35 (6th)

3.06 (18th) — Goals against per game — 2.41 (1st)

15.0% (29th) — Power play — 26.8% (2nd)

82.7% (7th) — Penalty kill — 84.5% (3rd)

Lineups

Blackhawks

Kubalik — Toews — Caggiula

Saad — Dach — Kane

DeBrincat — Kampf — Strome

Smith — Carpenter — Nylander

Keith — Boqvist

Gustafsson — Murphy

Maatta — Koekkoek

Lehner

Crawford

Bruins

Pastrnak — BergeronMarchand

DeBrusk — Krejci — Kuhlman

Kuraly — Coyle — Bjork

Blidh — Lindholm — Wagner

Chara — McAvoy

Krug — Carlo

Grzelcyk — Lauzon

Halak

Rask

How to watch

When: 7 p.m.

Where: United Center, Chicago

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV