The Blackhawks enter Monday’s game against the Hurricanes on a four-game losing streak. Chicago’s last regulation win was on April 17 — a 4-0 triumph over the Red Wings — as the Blackhawks are now 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.
Kevin Lankinen, who has played all five games against the Hurricanes this season, enters this one following three bad starts in a row. Lankinen has an .870 save percentage in those three starts but has a much better .909 against Carolina this season.
The Blackhawks have played the fewest games against the Hurricanes of all their Central division opponents with those five games. That’s also the fewest games the Hurricanes have played against an opponent. If there’s not currently bad blood between these two teams yet, there likely will be after three straight games.
Even as Chicago has little to play for — they’re now five points behind the Stars for the fifth spot in the Central and eight points behind the Predators for the fourth spot (with a game in hand) — Carolina has a lot. The Hurricanes are two points ahead of the Lightning with a game in hand for the first seed in the Central. This is a set where the Blackhawks very much could be spoilers, and with a 2-2-1 record against Carolina so far this season, it’s not like the Blackhawks haven’t had success against the Hurricanes.
Chicago is led by Patrick Kane’s nine points against the Hurricanes this season, seven of those points primary. Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat have both scored six points against the Hurricanes. Eighteen Blackhawks have scored at least one point against Carolina.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are led by Nino Niederreiter’s six points against the Blackhawks. Vincent Trocheck has five points. Sixteen Hurricanes have scored at least one point in the five games between the teams. Sebastian Aho leads Carolina with 52 points this season and Dougie Hamilton is second with 40 points. Aho has been limited to two points against Chicago while Hamilton has four.
With Petr Mrazek out for the vast majority of the season, James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic have now started the same amount of games for Carolina. Reimer has a .884 save percentage in four games against the Blackhawks this season. Nedeljkovic, in his one start against the Blackhawks, had a .875 save percentage, tasked with only 16 shots against.
The Blackhawks have been shelled by the Hurricanes so far this season. They have the worst expected goal percentage (39.28) in the Central against Carolina. Their shots for percentage is not much better — 41.46. But looking to recover from a losing streak and a downward trending team, the Blackhawks will surely look to improve.
Blackhawks — Statistic — Hurricanes
46.64% (28th) — Corsi For — 53.72% (3rd)
44.98% (31st) — Expected goals for — 54.04% (4th)
2.82 (16th) — Goals per game — 3.18 (11th)
3.24 (24th) — Goals against per game — 2.33 (3rd)
46.8% (28th) — Faceoffs — 53.7% (2nd)
22.8% (8th) — Power play — 27.0% (1st)
76.6% (27th) — Penalty kill — 84.6% (4th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
DeBrincat — Kurashev — Kane
Hinostroza — Dach — Hagel
Kubalik — Strome — Gaudette
Hardman — Kampf — Connolly
Zadorov — Murphy
Keith — Kalynuk
Stillman — Mitchell
Svechnikov — Aho — Teravainen
Lorentz — Trocheck — Necas
Niederreiter — Staal — Foegele
McCormick — Shore — Geekie
Slavin — Hamilton
Bean — Pesce
Skjei — Hakanpaa
How to watch
When: 6 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV