Blackhawks vs. Panthers preview 2017: Start time and schedule
Brian Campbell visits Florida for the first time since being re-acquired by Chicago this offseason.
The Chicago Blackhawks begin their three-game road trip in Florida against the Panthers on Saturday at BB&T Center.
Chicago (48-20-6) enter the game after defeating Dallas in a shootout on Thursday to build its lead atop the Central Division and Western Conference by eight points over Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Panthers (32-30-11), who have 75 points, are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division after a victory over Arizona at home.
This will be Brian Campbell’s first game in Florida since he was re-acquired by the Hawks in the offseason. Campbell has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 72 games this season during his second stint in Chicago.
Patrick Kane has scored four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last three games, and ranks third in the league in points. With eight games left in the regular season, Kane needs to make up a seven-point differential in order to catch league leader Connor McDavid of Edmonton.
Corey Crawford returned to his dominant ways Thursday, stopping 44 shots in Chicago’s 3-2 shoutout victory. Crawford made 38 saves in the Hawks’ 2-1 victory over Florida in November in Chicago.
Florida has struggled to make a push for the postseason, losing 11 of their last 15 games. Their starting goaltender Roberto Luongo has been out with a lower-body injury, and has been a major setback in the Panthers’ gameplan. With Luongo questionable to return to the lineup this season, backup goalie James Reimer has been called upon. Reimer is 15-14 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 37 games this season.
One bright spot for Florida this season has been Jonathan Marchessault, who scored twice in 26 seconds in Florida’s win over Arizona. Marchessault leads the team in goals (25) and trails only Vincent Trocheck (50 points) and Aleksander Barkov (48 points) in total points.
For more on the Florida Panthers, check out SB Nation’s Litter Box Cats.
*Lines will be updated if necessary
How to watch Blackhawks at Panthers
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL