Two teams in desperation mode step onto the ice tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets square-off in Columbus. Two teams that are falling behind in the Central Division playoff race, the Blackhawks theoretically have more of a pulse in the race than the Blue Jackets do with a four-point gap between Chicago and Nashville, compared to the seven-point gap between Nashville and Columbus.
Chicago will be without Mattias Janmark in the lineup as he is being held out in an “organizational decision.” Essentially, he is going to be traded sometime in the next 48 hours. On the other side, the Blue Jackets traded defenseman David Savard prior to tonight’s game.
Here's the three-way trade between Tampa, Detroit and Columbus landing Savard in Tampa ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ZCVCpaogkR
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 10, 2021
Chicago leads the season-series against the Blue Jackets this season with a 4-2-0 mark and a three-game winning streak over Columbus heading into tonight. They’ll need that trend to continue and help get them out of the slump they have been feeling for about a month, having lost 11 of their last 16 games.
Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, BSOH, NHLN
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM
Blackhawks (18-18-5, 41 pts)
DeBrincat – Dach – Kane
Kubalík – Kurashev – Hinostroza
Söderberg – Suter – Strome
Hagel – Kämpf – Carpenter
Keith – Boqvist
de Haan – Kalynuk
Zadorov – Murphy
Blue Jackets (15-19-8, 38 pts)
Laine – Texier – Bjorkstrand
Robinson – Domi – Stenlund
Grigorenko – Roslovic – Atkinson
Matteau – Dalpe – Shorewood
Gavrikov – Jones
Lehtonen – Del Zotto
Carlsson – Harrington
Brent Seabrook (LTIR – Retirement)
Zack Smith (LTIR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (LTIR – Concussion)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Gustav Nyquist (Out Indefinitely – Shoulder)
Brandon Dubinsky (LTIR – Wrist)
Zach Werenski (Out For Season – Hernia)
Nick Foligno (Day-to-day – Upper Body)
Emil Bemstrom (Indefinite – Lower Body)
Boone Jenner (Out Six Weeks – Broken Finger)
What To Watch For
• Patrick Kane’s 45 assists and 68 points against Columbus are his most against any NHL opponent in his career. He has 13 points in six games against the Blue Jackets this year, the most against any opponent for him this season. However, he has just two points in his last four games since the beginning of April. He finished the month of March on a five-game point streak where he tallied seven points.
• Columbus has killed 25 of the last 27 power-play chances against them in the last 10 games, while the Blackhawks have converted just once in their last 20 powerplay opportunities coming into tonight. The Blackhawks are 4-for-14 on the powerplay and 8-for-14 on the penalty-kill against the Blue Jackets this season.
• Kevin Lankinen gets the start again for the Blackhawks tonight. He has started 14 of the last 18 games for the Blackhawks since the beginning of March. In that timeframe he is 5-8-1 with a .906 save percentage and a 3.01 GAA. He is 3-2-0 with a .902 save percentage against the Blue Jackets this season.
Get Caught Up …
The Blackhawks are holding out Mattias Janmark out of tonight’s game as an organizational decision.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) April 10, 2021
Colliton on Janmark being scratched: "A lot of teams are dealing with stuff like this. It’s the time of year. Obviously you address it, depending on the situation. The message is: focus on what you can control.. Your energy is always best spent on things you can actually affect."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) April 10, 2021
Sherwood and Stenlund are playing.
Foligno is not. Apparently has an upper-body inj. He has played 599 career games with the CBJ and is now day-to-day.
Defensively, Carlsson and Harrington are playing to replace Kukan (healthy scratch) and Werenski (IR)
Merzlikins in net.
— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) April 10, 2021