Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Hurricanes, May 3rd-4th and 6th, 2021

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Series Preview: Blackhawks vs Hurricanes, May 3rd-4th and 6th, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks head out on the road for the final time this season with three games against the Carolina Hurricanes this week to close their regular season series.

Chicago holds a 2-2-1 record against the Hurricanes this year, being out-scored just 18-17 in their five meetings. The teams last played on April 1st, a 4-3 loss by the Blackhawks. While the Blackhawks are technically still alive in the Central Division playoff race, they would need an excessive amount of good fortune and stellar play to keep those hopes alive longer than the next 18 hours. It seems unlikely that the Blackhawks will be able to find that stellar play to break out of their current four-game losing streak against the surging Hurricanes.

One-Timers

•   Carolina comes into the series having already clinched a Central Division playoff spot, taking at least one point in their last ten games in-a-row (7-0-3) and in 14 of their last 15 games (10-1-4).

•   While he sits tied for fifth in the NHL in scoring with 62 points, Patrick Kane is tied for 24th in the league in scoring since March 1st with 28 points in 28 games. He has nine points in five games against the Hurricanes this season, his second-best point-per-game scoring rate against an opponent this season behind his 2.00 rate against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

•   Brandon Hagel has been on a tear recently for the Blackhawks with eight points in his last eight games. He has a three-game point streak coming into the three-game series against the Hurricanes and is second on the Blackhawks in rookie scoring this season with 22 points, one behind Pius Suter’s 23 points.

Puck Drops and Broadcast Info

•   Monday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, NSSO
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

•   Tuesday, May 4th at 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, BSSO
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

•   Thursday, May 6th at 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH+, BSSO
Radio: WGN 720 AM / TUDN 1200 AM

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (22-23-6, 50 pts)

DeBrincat – Dach – Kane
Hinostroza – Kurashev – Hagel

Kubalík – Strome – Gaudette
Hardman – Kämpf – Suter

Keith – Kalynuk 
Mitchell – Beaudin
Murphy Zadorov

Subban
Delia

Hurricanes (34-10-7, 75 pts)

Svechnikov – Aho – Teravainen
Niederreiter – Trocheck – Necas
Lorentz – Staal – Foegele
McCormick – Shore – Geekie

Slavin – Hamilton
Skjei – Pesce
Hakanpaa – Bean

Nedeljkovic
Reimer

Tale of the Tape

Powerplay
Blackhawks: 22.8% (8th)
Hurricanes: 27.0% (1st)

Penalty-Kill
Blackhawks: 76.6% (27th)
Hurricanes: 84.6% (4th)

Faceoffs
Blackhawks: 46.8% (28th)
Hurricanes: 53.7% (2nd)

Goals Per Game
Blackhawks: 2.82 (16th)
Hurricanes: 3.18 (11th)

Goals Against Per Game
Blackhawks: 3.24 (24th)
Hurricanes: 2.33 (3rd)

Top Scorer
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane – 15 goals, 47 assists, 62 points
Hurricanes: Sebastian Aho – 21 goals, 31 assists, 52 points

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)

Hurricanes: 

Petr Mrazek (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Cedric Paquette (Day-to-day – Undisclosed)
Jake Gardiner (Day-to-day – Back)
Jesper Fast (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Jordan Martinook (Day-to-day – Lower Body)
Brock McGinn (Day-to-day – Upper Body)

Keep An Eye Out For

Blackhawks Goalie Rotation. Malcom Subban will start the series-opener with Collin Delia backing him up. Don’t be surprised to see all three Blackhawks goalies make appearances for Chicago in this three-game series as the playoff chase is over but the Blackhawks still want to see every player perform before season’s end. Subban and Lankinen have split starting duties for 95% of the season, with Delia having yet to appear in a game for the Blackhawks since January 17th.

Power-Kill. The Blackhawks have used Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat as penalty-killers in the latter half of this season following the trade deadline. Since March 25th, the Blackhawks rank sixth in the NHL on the penalty-kill with an 87.8% kill-rate. Over that same stretch of time, the Blackhawks rank fourth in the league with just 41 times shorthanded and taking 44 penalties. Chicago leads the league with a plus-20 penalty differential since March 25th.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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