Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks vs. Red Wings (6:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings (6:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

The United Center will be filled with the soothing sounds of 20,000 fans chanting “DE-TROIT SUCKS!” tonight as the Red Wings come to town. I can’t think of a better team than the Red Wings for the Blackhawks to get their first win of the season against. I mean, any of the first five opponents would have been nice, but this is where we’re at, and it would be great if the Blackhawks could get in the win column tonight against their eldest rival.

The Blackhawks will have to get that win without their best player as Patrick Kane was absent from pregame warmups this evening, indicating that he is out for tonight and still in the COVID-19 protocols.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH
Radio: WGN 720 AM, WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (0-4-1)

The Blackhawks have not released a lineup at the time of publishing due to multiple players entering the COVID-19 protocols. 

Red Wings (2-2-1)

Bertuzzi – Larkin – Raymond
Fabbri – Suter – Zadina
Namestnikov – Rasmussen – Erne
Smith – Stephens – Gagner

DeKeyser – Hronek
Leddy – Seider
Staal – Lindstrom

Nedeljkovic
Greiss 

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Wyatt Kalynuk (Day-to-Day – Ankle)
Caleb Jones (Week-to-Week – Wrist)
Mike Hardman (Day-to-Day – Head Laceration)
Patrick Kane (COVID-19 Protocols)

Red Wings: 

Kyle Criscuolo (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)
Seth Barton (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)
Jakub Vrana (IR – Shoulder)

What To Watch For

•   The Blackhawks will need to continue the trend of starting strong in games as they’ve done in the first periods of the last two contests against the Isles and the Cancuks. The Blackhawks have been playing from behind all season and are a period and change away from breaking the NHL record for the most extended amount of time without a lead to start a season.

•   Kevin Lankinen gets his second consecutive start in net tonight for the Blackhawks. Lankinen allowed three goals to the Canucks on Thursday night, and four goals to the Devils in his first start of the season last week. Lankinen also played much of the Pittsburgh game in relief of Marc-André Fleury, who comes into tonight’s game with a 5.63 GAA in three starts. Fleury did leave the Blackhawks morning skate on Saturday briefly after taking a Dominik Kubalík shot off the head, but he’s not listed on the injury report at this time.

•   The Blackhawks have struggled to generate anything on the scoreboard in five-on-five play this season. Still, despite only registering 15 high-danger chances in the first three games, they’ve recorded 24 in the last two games at the United Center, showing improvement in that department. With the surge in high-danger chances the past two games, the Blackhawks are now up to 39, which ranks 6th in the NHL. The problem, now, is a matter of converting on these scoring chances, something they’ve failed to do, registering only three five-on-five goals this season. So if the Blackhawks hope to find success, they’re going to need to start finding the net in five-on-five situations.

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.