The Chicago Blackhawks return home for the first time in 12 days and will face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the United Center
Boy, what a difference a few weeks can make. After a 2-5-0 stretch from late October into early November had fans starting to brace for a very long season, the Chicago Blackhawks are on a 4-1-1 stretch that has many hopeful that they are starting to right the ship.
With 23 goals in that six-game stretch, it is starting to feel like the offense is finding an identity and figuring out what it will take to score consistently.
One of the changes coach Joel Quenneville made that has seemed to have paid off was putting Artem Anisimov back on a line with Patrick Kane. Moving Nick Schmaltz to the left wing of the second line, Kane is on a six-game point streak with eight points in that stretch, and Anisimov has scored five times in that same span, doubling his goal total from the entire season before that.
On top of that, the Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik line seemed to find its legs during the 4-1 win on Saturday night in Florida. The line was everywhere on the ice during the first period and seemed to find every loose puck on the ice.
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While the game was against one of the worst teams in the league, it is encouraging to see the top line gaining some confidence and being dominant on the ice.
The ‘Hawks enter a tough stretch this week with five games over the next seven nights. This includes matchups against the Ducks and the Kings, as well as division clashes with the Predators and a home-and-away against the Stars.
Here are the listings for tonight’s game against the Ducks:
Game time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Radio: WGN Radio 720-AM
Live streaming: NBC Chicago Live
Radio live streaming: WGN Radio App
The Ducks are on a bit of a slide the last few games while the ‘Hawks seem to be on the up. Corey Crawford will get the start in net instead of tomorrow night against Nashville, giving the team even better winning odds tonight.
Final score prediction: The Blackhawks come out hot in the third period of a 2-2 game and are able to tally a couple third-period goals to win 4-2.
Three star predictions
No. 3 Star: Corey Crawford, 35 saves
No. 2 Star: Jonathan Toews, 2 assists
No. 1 Star: Brandon Saad, 1 goal, 2 assists