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Chicago Blackhawks Vs St. Louis Blues- 5 Players To Watch Tonight

By Chris Schubert
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Oct 23, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta (31) makes a save against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight marks the first meeting between bitter rivals the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks since their six game battle in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. These are two teams that don’t get along, and every time they get together it is sure to be a instant classic. Here are 5 players that will be key to their team’s success in tonight’s matchup:

5) Brad Richards

The Hawks went out and acquired Richards this offseason in order to solve their 2nd line center problems. So far the experiment hasn’t worked out so well. It’s only six games, but Richards has only one point and has found himself moved to the 3rd line with Brandon Saad and Brian Bickell. A divisional game like this one would be the perfect one for Richards to break out and contribute. Getting his confidence going in a Hawks uniform could be a huge boost to an already deadly offense.

4) Anti Raanta 

After it was announced that Corey Crawford would miss some time, everybody pointed to Anti Raanta to keep the Hawks close until he could get back. So far Raanta has looked like a goalie that can handle the workload, and the Hawks are putting the pressure on. Raanta will start his 3rd consecutive game tonight and will do so against a division rival. He has a chance here to prove that he is more than a reliable backup, that he can be the guy if Crawford misses an extensive period of time.

3) Brian Elliot 

The Blues didn’t re-sign Ryan Miller, they traded Jaroslav Halak to the Islanders. They gave the keys to the stadium to Brain Elliot. For the Blues to take that next step towards Cup contenders, their goaltending needs to sort itself out. That starts and ends with Elliot. Winning games like these can help dismiss the concerns of the Blues goaltending come playoff time.

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