Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Red Wings, April 15th and 17th, 2021

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Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Red Wings, April 15th and 17th, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

This is the final two-game series of the season between the long-time rival-ing Blackhawks and Red Wings.

And let me just say, it has been so much fun to see these storied franchises face off six (and soon to be eight) times this season. A renewed rivalry that the NHL loves to promote and, at least for this season, the Blackhawks fans love to see. Chicago holds a 5-1-0 record against the Red Wings in 2021, out-scoring Detroit 25-12 in the process. This is possibly the most important two-game set of the season series between the teams as the Blackhawks have a huge task ahead of them to try and keep pace with the Nashville Predators in the Central Division playoff race.

It is paramount for the Blackhawks to take four points against the Red Wings in this series, no matter how they have to get them. It must be a four-point series for Chicago. Anything less and the playoff chase might end by the weekend.

One-Timers

•   Kevin Lankinen is likely to start both games against the Red Wings in the two-game set as he plays the role of the ace in the net for the Blackhawks as they push towards to playoffs. Lankinen is 4-0-0 against Detroit this season with a .962 save percentage and a 1.25 GAA. Lankinen is 3-1-0 in his last four starts and has made seven-straight starts for the Blackhawks and has taken the net in 17 of their last 20 games.

•   Three new faces to the Blackhawks have made immediate impacts with their new club as Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, and Vinnie Hinostroza, all coming from the Florida Panthers, have stepped into significant roles with Chicago. Hinostorza has two assists in his firs three games back with the Blackhawks and Connolly scored the go-ahead goal for the Blackhawks in their 4-3 OT win over the Blue Jackets on Monday night.

•   Two of the newest members of the Red Wings, forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik, are expected to make their team debuts after practicing with the club for the first time on Wednesday. Both forwards were acquired from the Washington Capitals in the Anthony Mantha trade on Monday’s Trade Deadline. Vrana comes to Detroit and assumes the role of team-leader in points with 25 this season.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Thursday, April 15th at 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, BSDET
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200-AM

•   Saturday, April 17th at 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH+, BSDET, NHLN
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200-AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (20-18-5, 45 pts)

DeBrincat – Dach – Kane
Kubalík – Kurashev – Hinostroza
Hagel – Suter – Strome
Connolly – Kämpf – Carpenter

Keith – Mitchell
Zadorov – Murphy
Stillman – Kalynuk

Lankinen
Subban

Red Wings (15-23-6, 36 pts)

Svechnikov – Larkin – Zadina
Vrana – Rasmussen – Filppula
Panik – Namestnikov – Gagner
Erne – Glendening – Helm

Cholowski – Hronek
Staal – Stetcher

DeKeyser – Lindstrom

Bernier
Griess

Tale of the Tape

Powerplay
Blackhawks: 24.6% (6th)
Red Wings: 12.0% (30th)

Penalty-Kill
Blackhawks: 73.3% (29th)
Red Wings: 76.2% (25th)

Faceoffs
Blackhawks: 46.9% (27th)
Red Wings: 49.9% (17th)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.79 (17th)
Red Wings: 2.23 (31st)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.09 (21st)
Red Wings: 3.16 (24th)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 14 goals, 40 assists, 54 points
Red Wings: Jakub Vrana – 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Calvin de Haan (Day-to-day – Hip)
Adam Boqvist (Day-to-day – Concussion)
Brent Seabrook (LTIR – Retirement)
Zack Smith (LTIR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (LTIR – Concussion)
Alex Nylander (LTIR  – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)

Red Wings:

Henrik Zetterberg (IR – Retired)
Tyler Bertuzzi (IR – Upper Body)
Robby Fabbri (Day-to-day – Upper Body)
Bobby Ryan (Out for season – Upper Body)

Keep An Eye Out For

Home-Wrecker. Alex DeBrincat, a Farmington Hills, Michigan-native, has nine points against the Red Wings this season, tied for his most against any opponent this season. In his career against Detroit, DeBrincat has a point in nine of 12 career games. DeBrincat is second on the Blackhawks in scoring this season with 41 points in 39 games and leads the team with 21 goals. He ranks in the top-20 in the NHL in points and is tied for fifth in the league in goals.

Bert And Erne. Red Wings forward Adam Erne has five goals and seven points during a seven-game point streak for Detroit. His team-leading 11th goal of the season on Monday extended his career-best point streak and was the 20,000th goal in Red Wings franchise history.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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