The Blackhawks have played the Hurricanes just three times so far this season, with the fourth one set for Tuesday night at the United Center.
In those three games, Chicago is 1-1-1. The teams have not met since Feb. 19, and will meet five more times, including this game, in the Blackhawks’ final 20 games of the season. That means the Hurricanes will be the Blackhawks’ most common opponent (least common is Tampa, with just one game left against the defending Cup champs) in this final stretch of games from the 2021 season.
Chicago has gone 7-9-1 since the last game against Carolina. In the same time span, the Hurricanes are 12-4-2. Carolina comes into the game second in the Central division with 49 points — one behind the Lightning with a game in hand. The Blackhawks are tied for fourth with the Predators and have 37 points in 36 games.
Patrick Kane has been excellent against the Hurricanes this season. In three games, Kane has eight points including three goals. Alex DeBrincat has five points in three games — all primary — and Dominik Kubalik also has five. No other Blackhawk has more than two points (Pius Suter, Philipp Kurashev, Mattias Janmark and Carl Soderberg are all at two) but 13 players have scored for Chicago.
The Hurricanes are led by Nino Niederreiter, who has five points in three games. Sixteen players have scored for the Hurricanes against the Blackhawks, nine with multiple points. Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas are all at three points.
The Hurricanes are led by Sebastian Aho (33 points this season) at forward and Dougie Hamilton (27 points) on the blue line. Carolina has seen multiple players miss extended time due to injuries — Teuvo Teravainen has played just 13 games this season because of concussion issues while Vincent Trocheck has been out since March 11.
Carolina’s also missing their starting netminder, as Petr Mrazek has been out since Jan. 30. Alex Nedeljkovic, who had started just four NHL games before this season, has taken over the net for Carolina recently. He has a .929 save percentage in 12 games with has two shutouts.
The Blackhawks have been bad against the Hurricanes but not — by their standards — horrible. They have a 45.28 percent share of the shots and 44.35 percent share of expected goals percentage against Carolina, both sixth-best in the division (above only Detroit).
After a rough March, the Blackhawks have seen a goaltending resurgence recently. Kevin Lankinen has a .955 save percentage in his last three games. Malcolm Subban had a .903 save percentage on Saturday against Nashville, just his second game since March 9.
The Blackhawks will need their goaltending to remain strong against the Hurricanes, who have the eighth-best offense with 3.27 goals per game and the best power play in the league, operating at 30.2 percent.
The Hurricanes are on a three-game winning streak and have collected at least a point in five straight games. The Blackhawks have lost two straight.
Blackhawks — Statistic — Hurricanes
46.56% (29th) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 53% (4th)
45.34% (31st) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 52.1 (8th)
2.83 (16th) — Goals per game — 3.27 (8th)
3.11 (22nd) — Goals against per game — 2.52 (7th)
46.7% (27th) — Faceoffs — 54.0% (2nd)
27% (3rd) — Power play — 30.2% (1st)
73.8% (27th) — Penalty kill — 83% (8th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
DeBrincat — Suter — Kane
Kubalik — Kampf — Hagel
Janmark — Dach — Strome
Carpenter— Soderberg — Kurashev
Keith — Beaudin
Zadorov — Murphy
de Haan — Boqvist
Niederreiter — Aho — Necas
Svechnikov — Staal — Foegele
Martinook — Fast — McGinn
Lorentz — Paquette — Geekie
Hamilton — Slavin
Pesce — Skjei
Fleury — Bean
How to watch
When: 6:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV