Coming off another Winter Classic loss, the Chicago Blackhawks will try and rebound at home against the Buffalo Sabres
As many of us are experiencing overkill of the Chicago Blackhawks playing in outdoor games, it seems the players feel the same way. The Blackhawks lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues in the annual Winter Classic on Monday.
The ’Hawks have been defeated 5 of their last 6 games, including losses to the Avalanche and Hurricanes, the former being at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The ’Hawks take on the Buffalo Sabres, who are currently last in the Atlantic Division but are coming off a 4-1 victory over a strong New York Rangers team.
The Sabres have lost 6 straight against the Blackhawks and last won at the United Center in 2007.
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This sure smells like another trap game for the ’Hawks. Fresh off the loss their arch rivals, the ’Hawks look vulnerable against a young Sabres team playing with nothing to lose.
Dan Bylsma is a smart coach and would love to have his young guns take a point or two from the Central Division-leading Hawks. There is no doubt there is talent on this team with the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Kyle Okposo and Jack Eichel.
Patrick Kane has performed well against his hometown team in the past so hopefully he can get the ’Hawks back on track. The Blackhawks will get Marian Hossa back from the IR and they have also recalled forward Spencer Abbott from the Rockford IceHogs. Abbott has 8 goals and 13 assists in 30 games played with the IceHogs.
Record: 14-15-8, 36 points, 8th in Atlantic Division
Goals For Rank: 28th
Goals Against Rank: 12th
Points Leader: Rasmus Ristolainen – 25
Leading Goal Scorer: Kyle Okposo – 10
Key Injuries: Ryan O’Reilly likely to return from appendectomy
Who To Watch For:
Jack Eichel – 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games
Rasmus Ristolainen – Points leader and has 70 shot blocks on the season
Sam Reinhart – 24 points on the year