Puck Drop: 8:30 PM | United Center | Chicago, IL
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Chicago Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey
Know Your Opponent
Last Game: 5-4 OT loss to Vegas (Saturday)
Division Ranking: 7th in the Central Division
PP: 17th (20.5%)
PK: 22nd (76.3%)
What to Watch
1. Different Teams, Similar Records
As you can see from their records, the Sabres and Blackhawks have fared pretty similarly this season. Chicago has just one more regulation win, and in the Western Conference, their 58 points sit them at 14th, ahead of only Seattle and Arizona. Buffalo has a slightly better seat in the Eastern Conference; with 56 points, they’re 12th.
But enough about that. Let’s look at the last five games. The Sabres are on a five-game point streak, with three wins followed by two losses (one shootout, one overtime). Buffalo’s been trending upwards over the last little bit and it’s refreshing to watch.
Over the last five games, the Blackhawks are 2-2-1. All of those games were decided by one or two goal deficits, so they’ve mostly managed to keep pace with their opponents, even when they’re losing.
2. DeBrincat Looks Good
Many will talk about Patrick Kane, but you can’t miss out on Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He leads the team with 37 goals and is likely to surpass his career high (41, reached in 2018-19). The second-most goals any player on the team has is... 21, quite a bit lower. The 24-year-old has also notched 25 assists for 62 points on season.
3. Skinner’s Four-Game Streak
Jeff Skinner will look to extend his four-game point streak in this evening’s contest. Over the last few games, he’s notched four goals and one assist, contributing to his 46 points on the season overall. While he won’t surpass his career high in points (63) pending an absolute rager of a season’s end, it’s been a good season for Skinner. Of course, it helps when you have the right coaching staff in place. (Looking at you, Ralph.)
Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch
Peyton Krebs-Dylan Cozens-Vinnie Hinostroza
Rasmus Asplund-Casey Mittelstadt-Victor Olofsson
Anders Bjork-Zemgus Girgensons-Kyle Okposo
Henri Jokiharju-Rasmus Dahlin
Mattias Samuelsson-Jacob Bryson
Colin Miller-Mark Pysyk
Starting Goalie: Dustin Tokarski (projected)
Alex DeBrincat - Dylan Strome - Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik - Jonathan Toews - Taylor Raddysh
Henrik Borgstrom - Kirby Dach* - Sam Lafferty
Boris Katchouk - Reese Johnson - MacKenzie Entwistle
Jake McCabe - Caleb Jones
Calvin de Haan - Seth Jones
Riley Stillman - Erik Gustafsson
Starting Goalie: Collin Delia (projected)
*Dach is questionable & was expected to miss morning skate with a non-COVID illness.