Series Preview: Blackhawks at Blue Jackets, February 23 and 25, 2021

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Series Preview: Blackhawks at Blue Jackets, February 23 and 25, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

It has felt like an eternity since the Chicago Blackhawks have been in action, but really it’s been only three days. I guess when you’ve grown accustomed to watching a game every other day, three days feels like a really long time.

For the Blackhawks, hopefully the time off can give them fresh legs and a boost heading into a two-game mini-series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who sit below the Blackhawks in the Central Division standings based on points (20) and points percentage (.529).


•   The Blackhawks and Blue Jackets are right in the same general spot with the standings in the Central Division, but are heading in opposite directions. Over the last ten games for each team, the Blackhawks are 7-2-1 and the Blue Jackets are 4-5-1. Head-to-head this season, the two teams have split their first four meetings 2-2-0 with the Blackhawks having a one-goal advantage through the first four games (12-11).

•   This will be the first time the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets play in Columbus after the first four games were played at the United Center. The Blue Jackets are 5-3-2 at Nationwide Arena, while the Blackhawks are 4-4-3 on the road this season and have gone 4-1-0 in their last five road games.

•   Alex DeBrincat has had a successful bounce-back season in 2021 so far. He is second on the team in points (18) and has tallied six points over his last four games. DeBrincat has nine points in eight career games against the Blue Jackets.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Tuesday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. CT
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200-AM

•   Thursday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m. CT
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 –


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


Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks: 32.2% (5th)
Blue Jackets: 15.2% (23rd)

Blackhawks: 80.0% (13th)
Blue Jackets: 73.8% (26th)

Blackhawks: 47.3% (26th)
Blue Jackets: 45.0% (29th)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.90 (19th)
Blue Jackets: 2.84 (20th)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.84 (18th)
Blue Jackets: 3.32 (26th)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 8 goals, 18 assists, 26 points
Blue Jackets: Oliver Bjorkstrand – 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points / Cam Atkinson – 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points

Injury Report


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)
Zach Werenski (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Michael Del Zotto (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Elvis Merzlikins (Week-to-week – Upper Body)

Keep An Eye Out For

Special Teams Disparity. In the month of February, the Blackhawks special teams have continued to be a strength for them. Chicago is 9-for-29 (31.0%) on the powerplay and 19-for-23 (82.6%) on the penalty-kill since February 2. On the contrary, the Blue Jackets have only drawn five powerplays over their last four games and have not registered a goal on the man-advantage in that stretch. Columbus has also allowed eight powerplay goals against them in their last nine games.

Mr. Milestones. Patrick Kane is three goals away from becoming the fourth Blackhawks player in franchise history to reach 400 goals with the club. He can also become the 10th active NHL player, ninth U.S.-born player, and the 100th NHL player all-time to hit the 400-goal mark. Kane is also eight games away from playing his 1,000th career NHL game. When he reaches that mark, Kane will become the seventh player in Blackhawks franchise history to play 1,000 games with the club.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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