The Chicago Blackhawks (16-0-3) are back on the road for their second round against the St. Louis Blues (10-6-2). Chicago took their home opener against St. Louis 3-2 in January.
The Blackhawks, still undefeated in regulation, have been busy in the United Center this week taking victories over Columbus and Edmonton, while the matchup tonight will be the first action the Blues have seen in five days.
While the Chicago team seems to be holding steady on their winning streak, the Blues might be in for a bit of a struggle with two players injured in practice earlier this week, including STL point leader Alexander Steen (4-12-16) who is questionable for tonight.
St. Louis, number one in the league on the power play with a 30.6 PP%, will be out to bring that offensive pressure against Chicago’s top notch 88.7 PK%. The Blackhawks have killed 30 minutes shorthanded in their last 3 games.
The Hawks have been finding ways to win lately without high scoring games, but against St. Louis, one of the toughest defenses in the WC, Chicago’s balanced lines are all going to have to work to find ways to the back of the net early and often.
Corey Crawford will start in goal.
The Blackhawks, with 10 of their first 12 games on the road, have proven themselves on the long road trip (8-0-2 road) and have shown the same consistency at home (8-0-1 home). The new challenge begins this evening with a flip-flop schedule of home and away games in March, meaning a lot of travel for the Hawks.
Injury report: Alexander Steen is questionable for this evening, Andy McDonald and Vladimir Tarasenko are on IR. Dave Bolland is out for Chicago with an upper body injury.
Blackhawks record: 16-0-3
Blues record: 10-6-2
Time: 7:00pm CST
Location: Scottrade Center
Where to watch: CSN-CH, FS-MW
Where to listen: WGN 720, KMOX 1120
Next 2 games: Fri. 3/1 v CBJ, Sun. 3/3 @ DET
(This post appeared previously on thecheckingline.com)