Blackhawks vs. Avalanche preview 2017: Start time, schedule, live streaming
Chicago can clinch a playoff spot with at least a point against Colorado and some help from Calgary.
The Chicago Blackhawks seek their fifth straight win as they host the Colorado Avalanche in the second half of a back-to-back Sunday at United Center.
Chicago (46-20-5) returns home after a 2-1 victory Saturday at Toronto to sweep its three-game Canadian road Trip. The Hawks are 9-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs with five home wins.
The win in Toronto put the Hawks five points clear of Minnesota for the Central Division lead.
The @NHLBlackhawks can become the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the #StanleyCup Playoffs. pic.twitter.com/l79wyDSzvL— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 19, 2017
The Hawks have picked up five of six possible points against lowly-Colorado this season. On Dec. 23, Chicago fell 2-1 in overtime to the Avs in the only meeting at United Center.
Marian Hossa did not play against Toronto due to a lower-body injury, but coach Joel Quenneville said it’s not serious. With Colorado last in the league standings, it’d be surprising to see Hossa back in the lineup and not sit out. The Hawks next game is Tuesday against Vancouver.
Patrick Kane’s four-game point streak came to an end against the Maple Leafs. Kane has 77 points (31 goals, 46 assists) this season, but he’s only recorded an assist against Colorado this season. When Kane finds the scoresheet against the Avs, the Hawks are 8-0.
Jonathan Toews likes play against the Avalanche, and it’s not just because he grew up idolizing their general manager Joe Sakic. The Chicago captain has four goals and three assists in his last five games against the Avs.
Scott Darling will likely start in net after Corey Crawford made 25 saves in the win at Toronto. Darling has turned things around since a Jan. 26 loss to Winnipeg. The Lemont, Ill. native is 5-0-0 with a 1.21 goals-against average and .963 save percentage. He’s 1-1 against the Avs in his career, but both games were played in the Mile High City.
Colorado is coming off a 5-1 beatdown Saturday in Detroit. Nathan MacKinnon scored his 15th goal of the season in the loss. He is two points shy of 200 points for his career.
Jeremy Smith will likely start in net. Smith is 1-4-0 with a 3.12 GAA and .898 save percentage this season.
For more on the Colorado Avalanche, visit SB Nation’s Mile High Hockey.
*Lines will be updated if necessary
How to watch Avs at Blackhawks
Time: 6 p.m. CST
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL