Blackhawks face rival Blues in home finale
Chicago will honor legend Stan Mikita with “One More Shift” prior to puck drop.
The Chicago Blackhawks look to force their Central Division rival St. Louis Blues into a must-win situation Saturday to earn a playoff spot.
Due to the Colorado Avalanche’s 4-2 loss Thursday at San Jose, St. Louis can lose to the Blackhawks and still make the playoffs with a win Saturday in Denver.
Here’s how Friday’s game will impact St. Louis’ playoff chances, according to the Blues.
1. The Blues win in regulation or overtime Friday against Chicago and will need just one point Saturday in Colorado to secure a playoff spot.
2. The Blues can win in a shootout Friday against Chicago and would clinch with a win Sunday in Colorado (regulation or overtime) OR a shootout loss in Colorado. In this scenario, the Blues CANNOT lose in overtime.
3. The Blues can lose in regulation, overtime or shootout Friday in Chicago and still clinch with a win in any fashion Saturday in Colorado.
The Hawks put a dent in St. Louis’ playoff hopes with a 4-3 comeback victory Wednesday, when Duncan Keith scored with 8.5 seconds left in the third period. The Blues goaltender Jake Allen took the blame for the loss.
Allen is expected to get another chance in net Friday. The 27-year-old is 27-24-3 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 58 games this season. He has lost his last four contests.
In 14 career games against Chicago, Allen is 8-5-1 with a 2.53 GAA and .915 save percentage.
The Blackhawks most likely will counter in net with Jean-Francois Berube, who made 31 saves Wednesday. Berube is 3-5-1 with a 3.84 GAA and .893 save percentage this season. He is 1-0-1 with a 3.39 GAA and .901 save percentage against the Blues.
Friday’s game could also be Patrick Sharp’s final game at the United Center. Sharp, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has won three Stanley Cup championships with Chicago, and has scored 249 goals in 747 with the Hawks.
Chicago rookie Alex DeBrincat scored his 28th goal this season to surpass Patrick Kane for the team lead during Wednesday’s win. He needs only two more goals to reach the 30-goal milestone.
The Hawks will honor legend Stan Mikita prior to puck drop with their “One More Shift” program. Mikita’s three grandsons will take the ice on his behalf.
No Toews, Hayden or Duclair tonight. Tomas Jurco is sick. If he can't go, Blackhawks will dress seven defensemen.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 6, 2018
|F1||Brandon Saad - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane|
|F2||Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Andreas Martinsen|
|F3||Alex DeBrincat - Victor Ejdsell - Dylan Sikura|
|F4||Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook|
|D2||Erik Gustafsson - Connor Murphy|
|D3||Blake Hillman - Jordan Oesterle|
|F1||Kyle Connor - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler|
|F2||Nikolaj Ehlers - Paul Stastny - Patrik Laine|
|F3||Mathieu Perreault - Andrew Copp - Bryan Little|
|F4||Brandon Tanev - Adam Lowry - Joel Armia|
|D1||Josh Morrissey - Tyler Myers|
|D2||Joe Morrow - Dustin Byfuglien|
|D3||Ben Chiarot - Tucker Poolman|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Blues at Blackhawks
Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago