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Lankinen starts as Blackhawks release the ‘kittens’ in rematch with Red Wings

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The Hawks have double the wins (8) and half the regulation losses (5) of the Wings heading into Wednesday.

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings”n Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

After ‘stealing’ the win (as Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton put it) in OT against the Red Wings in Detroit on Monday, the Blackhawks will look for another on Wednesday back at Little Caesars Arena.

As Duncan Keith succinctly put it, it’s not like the rookies are ‘kittens,’ which, we all hope, means they have some talons in them to stick it to the Wings in Wednesday’s game.

Monday’s game saw Detroit give up the game-winner to Chicago early in overtime. Mattias Janmark tipped in the first goal of the game just one minute into Monday’s game, giving him 6 goals in 17 games during his first season with the Hawks which matches his output in each of the last two seasons. But the possession stats tell a more worrisome tale for the veteran player as he ranks LAST on the team in shot-attempt ratio (CF%) at 37.14 (140 attempts for, 237 against) during 5-on-5 play).

Dominik Kubalik scored in the first period and added that overtime goal to give Chicago the victory, while Vlad Namestnikov scored for Detroit just as the first period was coming to a close and Christian Djoos tied the game in the third period with his first goal as a Red Wing.

In terms of goaltending Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for Detroit (4-10-3) and Malcolm Subban made 27 saves for Chicago (8-5-4).

Despite not scoring on Monday, the Blackhawks’ top line of Alex DeBrincat, Pius Suter and Patrick Kane is thriving. Kane is at the second highest point-per-game of his 14-year career with 22 points (7 goals, team-high 15 assists) in 17 games (1.22 PPG), Pius Suter’s assist on the overtime goal in Monday’s game was his 10th point of the season (6 G, 4A in 17 GP), moving him to the top of the league among NHL rookies. Alex DeBrincat’s game is much improved from last season with 16 points in 12 games through his impressive eight goals and eight assists. With Kevin Lankinen in goal tonight supporting this line, we’re sure to see some solid action against the Red Wings.

A great reference point for us Blackhawks fans is the NHL’s assessment of who would be taking home trophies if the season ended right now. Both Kevin Lankinen and Patrick Kane made the cut, with no surprise. But they can’t keep holding the team together by themselves without there being an eventual burnout.

Let’s go Hawks!

Tale of the tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Red Wings

45.99% (30th) — Corsi For — 47.96% (26th)

45.0% (29th) — Expected goals for — 48.57% (23rd)

2.94 (17th) — Goals per game — 2.06 (30th)

2.88 (17th) — Goals against per game — 3.18 (22nd)

48.0% (25th) — Faceoffs — 52.2.5% (7th)

32.7% (4th) — Power play — 7.5% (30th)

81.1% (11th) — Penalty kill — 73.5% (26th)

Projected lineups (subject to change)

Blackhawks

DeBrincat — Suter — Kane

Janmark — Strome — Kubalik

Kurashev — Soderberg — Hagel

Wallmark — Kampf — Johnson

Keith — Mitchell

de Haan — Carlsson

Zadorov — Beaudin

Lankinen/Subban

Red Wings

Zadina — Larkin — Brome

Mantha — Fabbri — Ryan

Flippula — Namestnikov — Gagner

Glendening — Nielsen — Erne

Nemeth — Hronek

Staal — Stecher

Djoos — Merrill

Greiss

Bernier

How to watch

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV