Coming into tonight’s contest, the Blackhawks have lost six-straight games, going 0-3-3 over that span and includes a 6-4 loss to the NHL’s worst team, the Arizona Coyotes, in their last outing. They’ll face the Vegas Golden Knights in game two of a three-game road trip, with the Golden Knights leading the Pacific Division and the Western Conference with a 23-13-1 record and 47 points in the standings. Tonight’s biggest storyline will be the return of Marc-André Fleury to Vegas to face his former club. In four seasons with the Golden Knights, Fleury was 117-60-14 with a .917 save-percentage and a 2.41 GAA. He helped Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018 and won the Vezina Trophy last season prior to being traded to Chicago.
Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, ESPN+ (out-of-market)
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)
Kubalík- Toews – Kane
DeBrincat – Strome – Connolly
Kurashev – Dach – Entwistle
Khaira – Borgström – Carpenter
McCabe – S. Jones
de Haan – Murphy
C. Jones – Stillman
Golden Knights (23-13-1)
Dadonov – Stephenson – Stone
Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Janmark – Roy – Kolesar
Carrier – Howden – Patrick
McNabb – Pietrangelo
Theodore – Whitecloud
Hutton – Coghlan
Tyler Johnson (Three Months – Neck Surgery)
Kevin Lankinen (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)
Brandon Hagel (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)
Sam Lafferty (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)
Erik Gustafsson (Day-to-Day – COVID Protocol)
Reese Johnson (IR – Broken Clavicle)
Laurent Brossoit (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)
Nicolas Hague (Day-to-Day – Wrist)
Max Pacioretty (IR – Wrist)
Jack Eichel (IR – Neck)
What To Watch For
• The biggest story of the night will be Marc-André Fleury’s return to Vegas. After coming to the Golden Knights in the Vegas expansion draft, Fleury was a pillar for the expansion franchise. He helped the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season and won the 2021 Vezina Trophy with them. He is 9-11-2 this season with Chicago, but is 0-1-2 with a .865 save-percentage in his last three starts for the Blackhawks.
• Patrick Kane has seven points in last six regular-season games against Vegas. Alex DeBrincat has seven points in his last seven games against the Golden Knights, including three multi-point games. They have on the ice for 30 goals together this season, which is tied for the second-most in the NHL, trailing just Connor McDavid and Leon Draistail with 46.
• Chicago has the worst penalty-kill in the NHL since November 7, killing just 66.7% of their shorthanded chances. They have allowed a powerplay goal in 14 of their last 20 games and are facing a Golden Knights powerplay that ranks 17th in the NHL this season with a 19.0% success-rate.
Get Caught Up
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about the emotions of returning to Vegas to play his old team, the Golden Knights, for the first time. pic.twitter.com/MSDb7jecNk
— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) January 7, 2022
Jonathan Marchessault on Marc-Andre Fleury: I’m really looking forward to that moment after the video he’s going to get. He built this city. He built sports in this city. He’s the one who made us successful. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it."#VegasBorn #Blackhawks
— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) January 7, 2022
Will Jonathan Marchessault do some chirping tomorrow?
"For sure, I will. I'd like to score a goal on him."
What say you, Marc-Andre Fleury?
"A little guy, but a big mouth. And I'm looking forward to it, actually."
— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) January 8, 2022
Mattias Janmark called coming back from COVID “probably the biggest challenge I’ve had so far.”
His stats suffered but DeBoer said Janmark gave the team what he could with star players out.
Now Janmark is finally himself, and has 5 goals in 5 games-https://t.co/KQZOfP4cSu
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) January 8, 2022
Marc-Andre Fleury on current state of team: “It’s been hard, it’s been frustrating sometimes. Everyone expected more out of us and on the season, myself included.” #Blackhawks
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 7, 2022