The Chicago Blackhawks enter Tuesday night’s game against the Florida Panthers as the only team without a single point in the standings, outside of the Dallas Stars who have yet to play a game this season. At 0-3-0, and a -10 goal differential, things can only go up for the Blackhawks. I think. They’ll have to steer things in the right direction against a two-time Vezina winner on Tuesday night, so we should be in for an entertaining matchup.
Puck drop: 6 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-South
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Blackhawks (0-3-0, 0 pts)
DeBrincat – Suter – Kane
Kubalík – Strome – Kurashev
Janmark – Wallmark – Shaw
Hagel – Kämpf – Carpenter
Keith – Murphy
Zadorov – Boqvist
de Haan – Mitchell
Panthers (1-0-0, 2 pts)
Verhaeghe – Barkov – Duclair
Huberdeau – Wennberg – Hornqvist
Vatrano – Luostarinen – Tippett
Lomberg – Acciari – Connolly
Weegar – Ekblad
Yandle – Gudas
Forsling – Stralman
Brent Seabrook (IR – Lower Back)
Zack Smith (IR – Back)
Kirby Dach (LTIR – Out 4-5 months – Wrist)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Out 4-6 months – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Markus Nutivaara (Day-to-day)
Noah Juulsen (Day-to-day)
Juho Lammikko (Day-to-day)
What To Watch For
• Kevin Lankinen and Brandon Hagel will make their season debuts for the Blackhawks tonight. For Hagel, it is his second NHL game in his career. He played his rookie season last year primarily in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, tallying 19 goals and 31 points. Lankinen will be making his first career NHL start after spending the last two seasons in the Blackhawks farm system. In 21 starts last year in the AHL, Lankinen went 8-10-2, with a .909 Save Percentage, and a 3.03 GAA. He was also named an AHL All-Star last season.
• The Blackhawks have scored a powerplay goal in each of their first three games, two coming from Alex DeBrincat in the last two outings. If Chicago is going to get over the hump in a lot of games this season, it will have to come by making the most of their advantages.
• Speaking of DeBrincat, look for him to continue to be a factor in Chicago’s offense. Coming into this season, DeBrincat needed to have a bounce-back year from a rather underachieving 2019-20 campaign. So far, so good with three points in three games.
• The Panthers get Sergei Bobrovsky back in net tonight. The two-time Vezina winner is also looking to have a bounce-back season of his own. Following a disappointing 2019-20 season where he finished with a .900 save percentage (second-lowest in his career) and a 3.23 Goals Against Average (career-low), Bobrovsky is out to prove he’s still one of the league’s most elite goaltenders. The Panthers are hoping so too, especially with the $10M AAV price tag they have on him.
Get Caught Up …
Colliton on tonight's game: "For everyone’s mental health, it’d be good to get a win, have some positive feelings going… More important is we want to play better. If we continue to go in that direction, the result we could probably live with. I’d prefer to earn the win."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 19, 2021
Chicago plays #FlaPanthers at 6 p.m. CT Tuesday.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) January 19, 2021
Transaction:#FlaPanthers G Sergei Bobrovsky has been added to the Panthers active roster.
G Sam Montembeault has been assigned to the taxi squad.
— Florida Panthers PR (@FlaPanthersPR) January 19, 2021
Andrew Shaw on how the young guys are handling 0-3 start: "The NHL’s the best league in the world. Coming into it can be hard. But I’m doing my best to keep it light, make sure they’re enjoying themselves, having fun. But when that puck drops, they need to what got them here."
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 19, 2021
— NHL (@NHL) January 18, 2021
This is Hagel's 2nd NHL game but Colliton points out he's been with the team quite a lot, including in the playoff bubble and several call-ups last season when he didn't.
"Hopefully he's as prepared as he can be. We told him, 'Just play and don't worry about making mistakes.'"
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 19, 2021
Joel Quenneville on having fans in stands last night: "It goes back to everything we've been a part of – the tradition of our game. … No matter how many people are in the building, it gets loud. We could sense it last night. You could hear it, you could feel it."#Blackhawks
— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) January 18, 2021