Chicago Blackhawks-St. Louis Blues Live Streaming, Prediction & More

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Vladimir Tarasenko
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Vladimir Tarasenko /

The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues will meet for the first time this regular season, a game that marks the return of Nick Schmaltz on the ice and Eddie Olczyk to the broadcast booth

We’ve been without Chicago Blackhawks hockey for the last three days, so it’s great to see what’s on tap tonight at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks will visit the rival St. Louis Blues, and it will be accompanied by two returns of note.

The first is in second-line center Nick Schmaltz, who has missed pretty much every game since the opener due to an injury sustained in that game. Schmaltz tried to gut it out in Game 2, but didn’t last long.

The Blackhawks’ lineup has been a bit of a mess without Schmaltz, despite the team’s 4-1-1 record. Chicago has been dominated in the possession battle in multiple games without Schmaltz, and guys like Patrick Kane and Ryan Hartman have looked very ordinary and/or lost with Schmaltz centering them.

The second return doesn’t impact the Blackhawks’ lineup, but it is a feel-good moment for Blackhawks fans and the NHL at large. Blackhawks TV color analyst and former player Eddie Olczyk is calling tonight’s game on NBC Sports Network, making his broadcasting debut for 2017-18.

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Olczyk has been facing a well-publicized bout with colon cancer. He made brief stops in the Blackhawks’ TV and radio booths last week, and he spoke with WGN Radio earlier this week ahead of his return to game action.

Olczyk isn’t back on a full-time basis, as NBC essentially has an open deal for him to call games as his health allows. It’s going to be great to hear Eddie O on the call tonight, especially in a Central Division showdown.

Projected lineups

Let’s start with the Chicago Blackhawks, courtesy NBC Sports Chicago’s Tracey Myers:

So things are back to normal on the forward front, relatively speaking. Tanner Kero is taking a seat in the press box tonight, as coach Joel Quenneville has been pleased with the fourth line of Lance BoumaTommy WingelsJohn Hayden. That he would stick with that trio against the Blues is not surprising.

Connor Murphy is back in the lineup again after his second benching already this season. The hope is the Blackhawks actually give him a little time to work things out, as it seems very early to throw in the towel on the guy who was acquired for Niklas Hjalmarsson. Murphy admittedly hasn’t looked great, but getting a slightly longer leash could help matters.

Corey Crawford gets the net tonight, and it’s assumed Anton Forsberg will get the call tomorrow at home against Edmonton.

Heading over to the St. Louis Blues, courtesy’s Lou Korac:

Alexander Steen-Paul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennSamuel Blais

Magnus PaajarviIvan BarbashevVladimir Sobotka

Scottie UpshallKyle BrodziakDmitrij Jaskin

Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo

Joel EdmundsonColton Parayko

Vince DunnRobert Bortuzzo

Jake AllenCarter Hutton

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Steen will be playing his first game of the season, having been activated from injured reserve today. He had been dealing with a hand injury and offers an immediate boost to a Blues team that is averaging a solid three goals a game already.

Pietrangelo and Schwartz each boast eight points, while Blackhawks killer Tarasenko carries six points, as do Stastny and newcomer Schenn. Allen has been meh thus far, posting a .917/2.96 statline in five games.

TV/radio listings and prediction

Puck drop: 7 p.m. CST

TV: NBC Sports Network

Radio: WGN 720-AM

Live video stream: NBC Sports App

Live audio stream: WGN 720-AM Online

Prediction: The Blackhawks tend not to fare well after extended stretches of down time during a season, though the Blues have had the same length of break coming in. That could make for a sloppy first period.

I don’t think there’s any chance the Blackhawks are looking ahead to the Oilers tomorrow night, even though I believe that team’s speed offers the Blackhawks a bigger challenge than a Blues team that has played well so far.

That’s not to overlook St. Louis, though. Tarasenko will no doubt be involved in some sort of scoring play, as shutouts for Crow often seem to perform an escape act. I think this game is heading to overtime, where the Blackhawks will pick up a 2-1 victory. The returning Schmaltz and linemate Kane will pick up the tallies, with Kane’s in OT.

Next: Eddie Olczyk Opens Up On Cancer Fight

If you can’t watch the game, or are just looking for a way to be entertained in addition to it, follow along with our Twitter account (@blackhawk_up) as we live-tweet the contest.