Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks at Blues (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Blues (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

In the second leg of a two-games-in-two-nights road trip, the Blackhawks visit the St. Louis Blues for what will be their toughest matchup of the season. The Blues check in to this one at 5-1-0 and look like an absolute machine in all facets of the game, especially on offense, where they lead the NHL in scoring on a per-game basis at almost five goals per contest. Unfortunately, as we know, the Blackhawks’ defense and goaltending have been anything but stellar this season. Tonight’s starter in net, Marc-André Fleury, enters play with a GAA north of five, and the team tied with the Coyotes for dead-last in the NHL in goals allowed per game.

The Blackhawks are in danger of losing their ninth consecutive game to open the season tonight, and the puck hasn’t even dropped yet. If the Blackhawks can’t play their best hockey of the season tonight, this game will be over before the first intermission.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH
Radio: WGN 720 AM, WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (0-6-2)

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

Blues (5-1-0)

Kyrou – Schenn – Perron
Barbashev – Thomas – Tarasenko
Neal – Bozak – Buchnevich
Kostin – Joshua – Clifford

Scandella – Parayko
Krug – Faulk
Walman – Mikkola

Binnington

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Wyatt Kalynuk (Week-to-Week – Ankle)
Caleb Jones (Week-to-Week – Wrist)
Patrick Kane (COVID-19 Protocols)
Henrik Borgstrōm (COVID-19 Protocols)
Riley Stillman (COVID-19 Protocols)
Jujhar Khaira (COVID-19 Protocols)

Blues: 

Brandon Saad (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)
Ryan O’Reilly Jones (Day-to-Day – COVID-19)
Oskar Sundqvist (Week-to-Week -Knee)

What To Watch For

•   The Blues’ top line of Jordan Kyrou, Brayden Schenn, and David Perron has been lethal this season with a combined 10 goals and 12 assists between the trio in just six games. Perron leads the trio with six goals in six games for St. Louis, while Kyrou has logged seven assists in six games. Still, there is danger beyond the St. Louis top line for the Blackhawks to deal with tonight. The always dangerous Vladimir Tarasenko has four goals and four assists in six games, and defenseman Justin Faulk has two goals and two assists this season.

•   It will be Marc-André Fleury in net for the Blackhawks tonight against a high-powered Blue offensive attack. Fleury has been off since last Sunday night when he allowed six goals to the Detroit Red Wings. Fleury has been bad this season, posting a 5.75 GAA and .839 save percentage in his four starts this season. In those four starts, Fleury has given up at least four goals each game and has allowed a total of 18 goals in just over nine periods of ice time. The 36-year-old former Vezina Trophy winner will have to be stellar tonight if the Blackhawks have any chance at competing with the Blues because considering Chicago’s defensive struggles and St. Louis’ high-powered offense, Fleury will be seeing a lot of shots tonight.

•   St. Louis will be the most formidable team that the Blackhawks have played to date. The Blues lead the NHL in per-game scoring with 4.67 GF/GP and are second in both power-play conversion rate (35.3%) and the penalty kill (90.5%). This one has the potential to get out of hand very quickly if the Blackhawks don’t play their best hockey for the season from puck drop and for the duration of the game.

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

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