The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to end their two-game losing skid on Sunday afternoon at the United Center, but that’s a tall task when their matinee opponent is one of the best in the league: the Florida Panthers.
Florida currently owns the second highest point total in the league with 73 and is the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference. Florida’s been on fire of late, too, winning eight of its last 10 games including a 6-2 beatdown of the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
Many of the familiar names are dotting the top of the scoring for the Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau has a team-high 68 points (17 G, 51 A), Sam Reinhart has 46 (17 G, 29 A) and Aaron Ekblad is back from his season-ending injury with 45 (12 G, 33 A).
Sergei Bobrovsky handles the net and has been playing well with a 25-4-3 record, .919 save percentage and 2.52 goals-against average.
The Panthers are only weakness are on special teams, both of which are mediocre. However, their 5-on-5 play is so dominant — they’re top three in the league in every shot category — that they can survive with less than stellar power play and penalty kill. It’s going to be a tall task for the Blackhawks this afternoon.
As for the Blackhawks, expect much of the same from Friday’s game against the Dallas Stars:
Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal today vs. Florida.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 20, 2022
Plan is to roll same lineup as Friday but there could be one change depending on what Florida does. #Blackhawks
Blackhawks — Statistic — Panthers
46.63% (27th) — 5-on-5 Corsi For — 55.91% (1st)
45.99% (27th) — 5-on-5 Expected goals for — 55.19% (3rd)
2.37 (30th) — Goals per game — 4.10 (1st)
3.31 (24th) — Goals against per game — 2.86 (15th)
48.8% (19th) — Faceoffs — 46.9% (29th)
19.9% (16th) — Power play — 20.7% (15th)
75.0% (28th) — Penalty kill — 78.7% (19th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
Hagel — Reichel — Kane
DeBrincat — Strome — Kubalik
Kurashev — Dach — Lafferty
Entwistle — Carpenter — Borgstrom
de Haan — S. Jones
C. Jones — Murphy
McCabe — Regula
Verhaeghe — Barkov — Duclair
Huberdeau — Bennett — Hornqvist
Marchment — Lundell — Reinhart
Lomberg — Luostarinen — Acciari
Vatrano — Thornton — Mamin
Weegar — Ekblad
Forsling — Gudas
Carlsson — Montour
How to watch
When: 2:00 p.m. CT
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago