Once more this season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning will square off in the Central Division.
While it was hard to say goodbye to facing the Detroit Red Wings on a regular basis, it will be very easy to say goodbye to having to play the Lightning eight times in a year. Like we expected this season, Tampa Bay has dominated Chicago, and Tuesday night will be the final time the Blackhawks will have to go up against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
• Chicago holds a 1-5-1 record agains the Lightning this season, having been outscored 30-15 in the process. If the Blackhawks win, they will have a better season record against Tampa Bay than they would against the Nashville Predators. Even going to overtime and losing would tie the season record for Chicago between them and Tampa, as well as with Nashville, although Chicago has scored more goals against the Lightning this season. Who saw that coming?
• Since an April 10th game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blackhawks are 17-for-17 on the penalty-kill. Since March 25th, their 90.6% penalty kill rate is second in the NHL. They have the third-fewest times short-handed (32) in the NHL since March 25th as well. Chicago is 15-for-24 on the penalty-kill against the Lightning this season.
• Kevin Lankinen will likely get the start on Tuesday night for the Blackhawks. Lankinen has an 0-2-1 record in three starts against the Lightning this season, with a .874 save-percentage and a 3.93 GAA. Those are his lowest save-percentage and GAA numbers against any Central Division opponent this season.
Puck Drops and Broadcast Info
• Tuesday, April 27th at 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH+, BSFL, ESPN+
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200-AM
Blackhawks (22-21-5, 49 pts)
DeBrincat – Dach – Hagel
Hinostroza – Suter – Kane
Kubalík – Kurashev – Strome
Connolly – Kämpf
Keith – Boqvist
Kalynuk – Murphy
Stillman – Zadorov
Lightning (32-14-2, 66 pts)
Palat – Point – Barre-Boulet
Killorn – Cirelli – Johnson
Goodrow – Gourde – Coleman
Maroon – Colton – Joseph
Hedman – Cernak
McDonagh – Savard
Sergachev – Schenn
Tale of the Tape
Blackhawks: 22.8% (9th)
Lightning: 24.7% (5th)
Blackhawks: 76.5% (27th)
Lightning: 82.3% (9th)
Blackhawks: 46.6% (28th)
Lightning: 50.1% (16th)
Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.77 (18th)
Lightning: 3.31 (6th)
Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.10 (22nd)
Lightning: 2.58 (7th)
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 15 goals, 43 assists, 58 points
Lightning: Victor Hedman – 9 goals, 35 assists, 44 points
Calvin de Haan (Day-to-day – Hip)
Ryan Carpenter (Day-to-day – Concussion)
Brent Seabrook (LTIR – Retirement)
Zack Smith (LTIR – Back)
Andrew Shaw (LTIR – Retirement)
Alex Nylander (LTIR – Knee)
Jonathan Toews (LTIR – Illness)
Nikita Kucherov (LTIR – Hip Surgery)
Anders Nilsson (LTIR – Concussion)
Marián Gáborík (LTIR – Indefinite)
Steven Stamkos (Out Indefinitely – Lower Body)
Jan Rutta (Week-to-week – Lower Body
Keep An Eye Out For
The New Bash Brothers. Brandon Hagel and Vinnie Hinostroza have been powering the Blackhawks’ offensive attack in recent games. Hinostroza scored a goal for the second-straight game back on Friday. He has two multi-point games over his last four appearances and in his nine games with the Blackhawks since being acquired on April 2nd, he has two goals and six assists. As for Hagel, he scored the dramatic game-winning goal in overtime over the Predators last Wednesday as part of a three-point game. He has two goals, both game-winners, and five points in his last five games. Hagel ranks second on the team in points for rookies this season with 19 in 44 games.
Going Young? The Blackhawks played a very young defensive group on Friday night, with Calvin de Haan out of the lineup due to injury. Over the weekend, the Blackhawks signed defenseman Riley Stillman to a three-year contract extension, signaling a big investment in the 23-year-old defender. With de Haan out again for Tuesday night, along with Ryan Carpenter out with a concussion, the Blackhawks could fill the lineup against the Lightning with even more youth. Which should be the focus for the final eight games of the season.