Blackhawks vs. Blues game preview: Chicago closes out road trip with Winter Classic preview

Chicago goes for its fourth consecutive win when it visits the Blues.

The Chicago Blackhawks seek their fourth straight win and a three-game road trip sweep when they visit the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

It will be the last time the two teams play each other ahead of their Winter Classic showdown Jan. 2 at Busch Stadium. The two Central Division rivals have each found success on the opposition’s home ice so far this season. The Blues took the season opener in Chicago, but Artemi Panarin scored in overtime for the Hawks to claim three points Nov. 9 in St. Louis.

Speaking of Panarin, he currently holds the hot stick for Chicago. Panarin is coming off three-point night Thursday against the Islanders. The Russian winger has three goals and six points in his last three games, all road wins. His 29 points are tied with Patrick Kane for the team lead. His point surge and Kane’s nine-game goal drought have helped put Panarin into the top-10 in the league in points.

The Hawks are coming off a 5-4 comeback win over the Islanders on Thursday. Chicago scored a season-high three power-play goals in the victory in Brooklyn. It’ll be tough to duplicate that performance against the Blues, who have the second-best penalty kill at 88.2 percent.

The Blues are also led by a star Russian winger, Vladimir Tarasenko. He has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in eight games in December. His 37 points are second in the league to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (39). Four of those 37 points have come against the Hawks with two goals and two assists.

Not only could Tarasenko help the Blues, but home ice figures to be a factor. The Blues are 13-1-2 at home this season, and have at least a point in their last 14 home games.

For more on the Blues, visit St. Louis GameTime.

Lineups

Blackhawks

Forwards

Hartman - Toews - Hossa
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Rasmussen - Kruger - Panik
Desjardins - Hinostroza - Motte

Defensemen

Keith - Hjalmarsson
Kempny - Seabrook
van Riemsdyk - Campbell

Goalie

Scott Darling

Blues

Forwards

Schwartz - Stastny - Yakupov
Fabbri - Lehtera - Tarasenko
Steen - Berglund - Perron
Upshall - Brodziak - Reaves

Defensemen

Edmundson - Pietrangelo
Hunt - Shattenkirk
Bouwmeester - Parayko

Goalie

Allen

How to watch Blackhawks at Blues

Time: 7 p.m. CT

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis

TV: CSN Chicago