Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks at Lightning (7:00 CT) - Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread | Bleacher Nation

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Lightning (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

Let’s do that hockey! We are less than an hour away from puck drop for the 2021 Chicago Blackhawks season and although the outlook is not awesome for the Blackhawks, it’s still hockey. Who’s not even a little excited?

Broadcast Info

Puck drop: 7 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSN
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (0-0)

DeBrincat-Strome-Kane
Janmark-Wallmark-Shaw
Kubalik-Suter-Pirri
Highmore-Kampf-Carpenter

Keith-Murphy
Zadorov-Boqvist
de Haan-Mitchell

Subban

Lightning (0-0)

Palat-Point-Stamkos
Killorn-Cirelli-Joseph
Coleman-Gourde-Goodrow
Maroon-Stephens-Volkov

Hedman-Rutta
McDonagh-Foote
Sergachev-Cernak

Vasilevskiy

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Kirby Dach (Out 4-5 months – Wrist)
Alex Nylander (Out 4-6 months – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (Illness)
Brent Seabrook (Unfit to participate)
Zack Smith (IR – Back)

Lightning:

Nikita Kucherov (Out for season – Hip)
Anders Nilsson (IR – Concussion)
Marián Gáborík (IR – Back)

What To Watch For

•   Malcolm Subban is making his first start for the Blackhawks tonight. After being acquired by Chicago from the Golden Knights last February, Subban played all of 1:10 minutes during the regular season and then was backup to Corey Crawford in the postseason. Subban is the most NHL experienced goalie for the Blackhawks heading into this season and he is being thrown into the fire right away against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

•   The Blackhawks will need to reverse the trend we’ve seen in the past two seasons that has Chicago giving up the most shots on goal of any NHL team in that stretch. Chicago’s team-defense should be improved on paper with the additions of Nikita Zadorov, Mattias Janmark, Lucas Wallmark, and pairing all offensive-style defensemen with a stay-at-home style partner. They’ll surely be tested against a powerhouse Lightning squad.

•   Who is going to help Patrick Kane? Without Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach, Kane is going to be a focal point of the Blackhawks attack. But he’ll need plenty of help. Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, and Dominik Kubalík will have more offensive responsibility placed on their shoulders, and they all have something to prove this season. Hopefully that bodes well for Chicago.

•   Is Ian Mitchell all he’s cracked up the be? It’s just one game, his first game in the NHL, but from every indication from the front office, coaches, and his teammates through training camp, Mitchell should be able to step onto the ice tonight and be ready to go at the NHL-level. Let’s hope that’s the case.

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