Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Odds, Game Thread

The Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets get their second two-game series underway tonight at the United Center. The teams split the first two games of the season just over two weeks ago. Blackhawks rookie goaltender Kevin Lankinen started both games for Chicago in the first series, making 57 saves on 60 shots faced in the two games. He will once again get the start for the Blackhawks tonight, holding the net for nine of the last 11 games for Chicago. He is 5-1-3 with a .933 save percentage and a 2.17 GAA this year.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-O
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (6-4-4, 16 pts)

Janmark – Suter – Kane
DeBrincat – Strome – Kubalík
Kurashev – Söderberg – Hagel
Highmore – Kämpf 

Keith – Mitchell
deHaan – Carlsson
Zadorov – Beaudin
Bowey

Lankinen
Subban

Blue Jackets (6-5-3, 15 pts)

Laine – Roslovic – Atkinson
Grigorenko – Jenner – Texier
Domi – Stenlund– Bjorkstrand
Robinson – Nash – Foligno

Gavrikov – Jones
Harrington – Savard
Del Zotto – Peeke

Korpisalo
Kivlenieks

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Brent Seabrook (IR – Lower Back)
Zack Smith (IR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (IR – Concussion)
Kirby Dach (LTIR – Wrist)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Connor Murphy (Out 10-14 Days – Hip)
Ryan Carpenter (Day-to-day – COVID Protocol)

Blue Jackets: 

Gustav Nyquist (Out Indefinitely – Shoulder)
Brandon Dubinsky (LTIR – Wrist)
Zach Werenski (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Elvis Merzlikins (Day-to-day – Upper Body)

What To Watch For

•   The Blackhawks have a point in 10 of their last 11 games (6-1-4) with their lone regulation loss in that span coming against the Blue Jackets back on January 29. Chicago sits in fifth-place in the Central Division based on points percentage(.571), ahead of the Blue Jackets (.536) in sixth-place.

•   It seems like I say it every game, but it has been so important in every game: special teams. The Blackhawks have the distinct advantage in this matchup on both the powerplay and the penalty-kill. They’ll need to capitalize on their opportunities against the Blue Jackets, especially on the powerplay, with the Blue Jackets ranking 11th in the NHL for team shooting percentage at five-on-five (9.12%) and the Blackhawks ranking last in the league in the same category (5.42).

•   Who will step up in the absence of Andrew Shaw? In case you missed it earlier today, Shaw was placed on injured reserve due to being in concussion protocol. Awful news. With an already depleted roster, the loss of Shaw from the lineup opens up another hole that will likely need to be filled by a lesser experienced player or rookie. For tonight, Matthew Highmore draws back into the lineup and the Blackhawks will keep the same 11 forwards and 7 defensemen configuration from Tuesday’s win over Dallas.

Betting Odds

The Blackhawks are -1.5 point favorites against the Blue Jackets tonight, and find themselves at -121 on the moneyline according to the PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook. You can go right here to sign up and make a bet.

[bet-promo id=”166801″ ]

Get Caught Up …

written by

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.

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