Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Lightning (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Lightning (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks close their season series with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, having a 1-5-1 record against them this season. 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. Tampa Bay has yet to lose in regulation this season to Chicago, going 6-0-1, including a 2-0-1 mark at the United Center. The Lightning have earned points in 23 of their last 24 games against Chicago, going 20-1-3 since the start of the 2010-11 season. Chicago is five points behind the Dallas Stars for fifth-place in the Central Division and seven points behind the Nashville Predators for fourth-place in the Divisional playoff race.

Two fun notes on tonight’s game: First, it is Pride Night at the United Center tonight with the Blackhawks wearing specialty sweaters and pride tape during warmups, where the game-worn sweaters and taped sticks will be up for auction to benefit local organizations that provide resources to the LGBTQ+ community or increase diversity in hockey including the Center on Halsted and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association (CGHA). The other note is that tonight is the first of three-straight games where the Blackhawks will be wearing their 2019 Winter Classic black and white sweaters. I love that they have become regular alternate sweaters in the rotation.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH+, BSFL, ESPN+
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (22-21-5, 49 pts)

DeBrincat – Dach – Hagel
Hinostroza – Suter – Kane

Kubalík – Strome – Kurashev
Connolly – Kämpf

Keith – Boqvist
Kalynuk – Murphy
Stillman – Zadorov
Beaudin

Lankinen
Subban

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

Vasilevskiy
McElhinney

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

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)

Lightning:

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)

What To Watch For

•   Kevin Lankinen will get the start tonight for the Blackhawks against Tampa Bay. 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. Lankinen is 2-3-0 with a .861 save-percentage in his last five starts for Chicago.

•   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.

•   Andrei Vasilevskiy is 6-0-0 this season against Chicago and has never lost in his career to the Blackhawks, going 10-0-0 in 10 career starts. The Blackhawks are one of three teams he’s yet to lose to in his career, carrying a 12-0-0 record against the Red Wings and a 4-0-0 record against the Anaheim Ducks.

Get Caught Up …



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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