Blackhawks begin their ‘Florida Swing’ in Tampa

Chicago and its red hot second line faces the Eastern Conference leaders in tonight’s matchup.

After completing the season sweep of the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks head south to begin a two-game road trip in the state of Florida. First on the list? The Tampa Bay Lightning.

With seven goals in the last three games, the second line for the Blackhawks (10-8-2) has been red hot as of late. Leading the way is Artem Anisimov, who notched five goals over those three games to jump into the lead in goals scored for the team.

Accompanying him is Patrick Kane, who has four assists and a goal over the aforementioned three-game stretch. Kane leads the team in apples with 13, and has a four-game point streak heading into Wednesday’s game.

The final piece is Nick Schmaltz, who has been dropping dimes like a champ lately with six assists in the last three games. It’s clear that the Hawks will need this line to continue its production if they hope to sweep their three-game road trip.

Tampa Bay is a formidable opponent, though, and might be the toughest matchup Chicago has faced so far this season. The Lightning (15-3-2) are rolling so far this season, leading the league in goals per game (4.0 goals per game) and power play percentage (28 percent).

Having a healthy Steven Stamkos in the lineup has helped, as he and Nikita Kucherov lead the league in points playing together on the same line. You may remember that Tampa Bay lost Stamkos to a season ending injury after 20 games last year, and never managed to recover. After missing the playoffs last season, the Lighting are ready to strike in the Eastern Conference in 2017-18.

History does not favor the Blackhawks in Amalie Arena, as they are 7-12-3 all time when playing in Tampa Bay. In fact, the last win Chicago saw in that building was in October of 2015 (the season after Chicago defeated Tampa in to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons). Last year, the Hawks were winless against Tampa Bay with a 0-1-1 record.

Here’s hoping this season’s series with Tampa goes a little better.


F1Brandan Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
F2Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
F3Patrick Sharp - Ryan Hartman - Alex DeBrincat
F4Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden
D1Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
D2Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
D3Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
GoaltenderAnton Forsberg


F1Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
F2Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
F3Alex Killhorn - Tyler Johnson - Andrej Sustr
F4Chris Kunitz - JT Brown - Ryan Callahan
D1Victor Hedman - Jake Dotchin
D2Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman
D3Braydon Coburn - Dan Girardi
GoaltenderAndrei Vasilevski

How to watch Blackhawks vs. Lightning

Start time: 6:30 p.m. CT

Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa Bay

TV: NBC Sports Chicago, NBCSN

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live