Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Blue Jackets (6:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Odds, Game Thread

And we’re back!

The Chicago Blackhawks come off a three-day break and head out to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first of their two-game mini-series tonight. This is the fifth of eight meetings between the teams this season, and will make Columbus the most-faced opponent for the Blackhawks at this point in the year. Chicago ranks fourth in points (22) and fourth in points percentage (.579) in the Central Division, while Columbus ranks fifth in points (20) and sixth in points percentage (.529) in the Division. The teams have split their first four meetings this season (2-2-0).

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, FS-O
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200-AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (9-6-4, 22 pts)

DeBrincat – Suter – Kane
Hagel – Wallmark – Kubalík
Janmark – Söderberg – Kurashev
Carpenter – Kämpf

Keith – Mitchell
de Haan – Boqvist
Murphy – 
Zadorov
Beaudin

Lankinen
Subban

Blue Jackets (8-7-4, 20 pts)

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

Gavrikov – Jones
Harrington – Carlsson
Savard – 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)
Lucas Carlsson (IR – Groin)
Dylan Strome (Day-to-day – Concussion)

Blue Jackets: 

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

Betting Odds

The Blackhawks are +1.5 point underdogs against the Blue Jackets tonight, and find themselves at +100 on the moneyline according to the DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook. You can go right here to sign up and make a bet.

[bet-promo id=”166783″ ]

What To Watch For

•   Chicago’s special teams units have been leading the way all season. Expect more of that to continue against a Blue Jackets team that ranks in the bottom-third of the NHL in both the powerplay and penalty-kill.

•   I’ve talked about it prior to tonight’s game, but Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat are having career years. Their chemistry together will need to continue if the Blackhawks are going to sustain their level of success they have enjoyed so far this season. Kane leads the Blackhawks in points this season with 26 in 19 games, while DeBrincat ranks second with 18 in 15 games. They both lead the team in multi-point games this year as well, with Kane having eight and DeBrincat having six.

•   Kevin Lankinen gets the start tonight for the Blackhawks. He has been one of the top-ten goalies in the NHL this season and is the leader in the clubhouse right now for league Rookie of the Year in my book. He has a 7-3-3 record this season with a .927 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA. He has gone 4-2-1 in the month of February and recorded his first career shutout on February 17 against the Red Wings.

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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