Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks vs Avalanche (7:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Avalanche (7:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are coming off back-to-back losses over the weekend to the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames where they were out-scored 11-2 in the process. Chicago has dropped their last four games in-a-row, their first real losing streak since Derek King took over as interim head coach. They’ll host the Colorado Avalanche, winners of seven of their last nine games coming into tonight. Colorado has played just once since December 16 after having their last seven games of December postponed.

A reminder for tonight’s game: This is the first home game for the Blackhawks at the United Center since the new vaccine requirements in the city were implemented. If you are five-years-old and up and going to the game, you will have to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status, or proof of a medical/religious exemption.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:30 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN+/Hulu ONLY
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (11-17-4)

Hagel – Borgström – Kane
DeBrincat – Toews – Kubalík 
Kurashev – Dach – Entwistle
Gabriel – Strome – Khaira

McCabe – S. Jones
de Haan – Murphy
C. Jones – Stillman

Fleury

Avalanche (18-8-2)

Landeskog – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Compher – Kadri – Burakovsky
Aube-Kubel – Newhook – O’Connor
MacDermid – Jost – Helm

Toews – Makar
Byram – Girard
E. Johnson – J. Johnson

Kuemper

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Tyler Johnson (Three Months – Neck Surgery)
Kevin Lankinen (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)
Reese Johnson (IR – Broken Clavicle)

Avalanche:

Valeri Nichuskin (Day-to-Day – Upper Body)
Jacob MacDonald (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)

What To Watch For

•   Marc-André Fleury is in net tonight for the Blackhawks after being placed in COVID protocol following the Christmas Holiday break. He returns to the lineup to face the highest-scoring team in the NHL as the Avalanche are netting 4.21 goals per game this season. Fleury has a 9-10-1 record this season for Chicago with a .913 save-percentage and a 2.86 GAA.

•   The Blackhawks’ woes on the penalty-kill continued on Sunday against the Calgary Flames, allowing one goal on three powerplay opportunities for Calgary. Chicago ranks last in the NHL on the penalty-kill since November 7, killing just 66.1% of penalties over that span. They rank 16th in the league in times shorthanded per game (2.80) in that same timeframe. Colorado’s poweprlay ranks eighth in the league this season, converting 24.1% of the time.

•   Chicago’s offense has not shown up in 2022 yet, having been out-scored 11-2 in their last two games, even though they are out-shooting opponents 69-67 in those two games. They have generated the third-most scoring chances (53) in the league since January 1, but have given up the most (64) of any team in two games. Chicago’s shooting percentage over that last two games is last among teams to have scored a goal in the new year, 2.90%.

Get Caught Up

 



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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