After going through a tumultuous weekend, the Chicago Blackhawks came away winners in their last outing with a surprisingly good effort in a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. I say “surprisingly good,” because the amount of talent the Blackhawks have been missing this season is, well, a lot. But fortunately, the emergence of a few rookies has been able to pick up the slack for Chicago.
Now they get Nicolas Beaudin and Alex DeBrincat back off of the NHL COVID Protocol list and turn their attentions to the Carolina Hurricanes, who have won five of their six games so far this season, including four in-a-row and also welcome back their own key players from the COVID list with Jaccob Slavin, Jordan Martinook, Warren Foegele, and former Blackhawk Teuvo Teravainen.
Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-CR
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Blackhawks (3-4-3, 9 pts)
Janmark – Suter – Kane
Kubalík – Strome – Kurashev
Hagel – Söderberg– Shaw
Highmore – Kämpf – Johnson
Keith – Carlsson
De Haan – Mitchell
Zadorov – Murphy
Hurricanes (5-1-0, 10 pts)
Teravainen – Aho – McGinn
Niederreiter – Trochek – Necas
Svechnikov – Staal – Foegele
Dzingel – Geekie – Martinook
Skjei – Pesce
Fleury – Gardiner
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)
Adam Boqvist (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Lucas Wallmark (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Ryan Carpenter (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
Max McCormick (IR – Upper Body)
Petr Mrazek (Day-to-day – Upper Body)
Jesper Fast (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)
What To Watch For
• Kevin Lankinen, not to sound like a broken record, is key for the Blackhawks moving forward. Clearly, he is now the starter with Malcolm Subban playing backup and Collin Delia the odd-man out. Lankinen makes his seventh start of the season in the last eight games for Chicago. He’s 3-1-2 as a starter this year with a .937 save percentage and a 1.97 GAA.
• Lineup changes might come as soon as the pregame warmup, but for the time being, watch for the line of Mattias Janmark, Philipp Kurashev, and Patrick Kane. The trio produced two goals on Sunday night in the win over the Blue Jackets and the chemistry between the three was fantastic. It’s likely head coach Jeremy Colliton keeps that line together.
• Teuvo Teravainen won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015 and then was traded along with Bryan Bickell to the Hurricanes after the following season. It’s been a huge loss for the Blackhawks as Teravainen has gone on to become a top-line caliber player in the league. He has 247 points in 316 games since joining the Hurricanes in 2016, including 15 points in 23 playoff games with Carolina. In his career facing his former Blackhawks team, he has four points in eight games. He is coming off of the NHL COVID Protocol list today and is expected to return to the lineup tonight.
The Blackhawks are … you guessed it … once again +1.5 underdogs for tonight’s matchup against the Hurricane, according to the DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook, and currently sit +135 on the moneyline. Feeling froggy about their chances tonight? Go sign up right here and let the Blackhawks make you some money.
Get Caught Up …
Forward Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Nicolas Beaudin have been removed from COVID-19 Protocol.#Blackhawks
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 2, 2021
Colliton: "You don't want that list getting larger. Credit to our team. We handled it really well as far as taking care of business, focusing on our own performance… As we get guys back, hopefully we can continue to build." https://t.co/fBQQLlDvpv
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 2, 2021
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 2, 2021
James Reimer starting tonight for the Hurricanes.
They'll get a few guys back in the lineup tonight, including Teuvo Teravainen and Jaccob Slavin.
— Tracey Myers (@Tramyers_NHL) February 2, 2021
Kevin Lankinen will start again. Colliton was mum on any other lineup changes.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 2, 2021
Blackhawks F Brandon Hagel on what motivates him on the forecheck: "It’s not very fun playing without the puck. Just really hungry for the puck. Most guys could say that. I want the puck, I want the puck on our team’s sticks. That’s where good things happen."
— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) February 2, 2021
Brandon Hagel on his early NHL success: "I don’t want to stop. I’m not satisfied. I want to be the best I possibly can be in this league. My goal is to win a Cup. Until then, I’m not going to be satisfied with anything."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 2, 2021