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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes: What to Watch and What to Know

jnikac
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 17: Brent Seabrook
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 17: Brent Seabrook /
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The Chicago Blackhawks face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time this season. Here’s what to watch and what to know ahead of tonight’s game.

New head coach Jeremy Colliton and the Chicago Blackhawks are back home to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes before they embark on a two-game Eastern Conference road trip. The game will be on NBC Sports Chicago for TV and WGN for radio at 7:30 pm central. This will be the first of two matchups against the Hurricanes.

The Blackhawks will be revealing their 2019 Winter Classic jersey in a pregame ceremony and will hold a Veterans Day on-ice ceremony honoring those who have served the country.

Here’s how the Chicago Blackhawks’ lines will look this evening based on the lines from practice yesterday:

Offense

  1. DeBrincat-Toews-Kahun
  2. Schmaltz-Anisimov-Kane
  3. Saad-Kampf-Fortin
  4. Martinsen-Kruger-Kunitz

Defense

  1. Keith-Jokiharju
  2. Davidson-Rutta
  3. Gustafsson-Seabrook

Crawford is starting in net. Former Hawks goaltender Scott Darling will be in net for the Hurricanes.

The Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville Tuesday morning after a 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames over the weekend. Overall, the game was atrocious for Chicago. They were dominated in all areas of the scoresheet. The Blackhawks have lost five games in a row and are looking to get back on track with a new head coach leading the way.

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After only picking up two points in his first eight games, Brandon Saad has five points in his last eight. He’s been talked about a lot and deserves every ounce of praise for the way he’s been playing. On a team with terrible scoring luck, Saad needs to keep up his play and continue racking up points.

Henri Jokiharju recorded his eighth assist Saturday night, good for second among rookie defensemen in the league. After Keith was ejected, Jokiharju played 25:29, second on the team behind Brent Seabrook. He’s easily one of the most underrated rookies in the league and is probably the most stable defenseman on the Blackhawks.

Both the Blackhawks and the Hurricanes are on five-game losing streaks for similar reasons. The goaltending is still an issue for the Canes, as they sit second to last in save percentage (.876). Chicago’s save percentage isn’t good either (.888), and neither team has a lot of scoring depth.

However, Carolina is a way better team than Chicago. Only two players on the Canes have a Corsi-for percentage below 50, while the Blackhawks have six. The Hurricanes are drastically outshooting their opponents and the Blackhawks are not.

Overall, it’ll be interesting to see how both teams play in the first ten minutes. Chicago is looking to prove they can still be a force in the league and Carolina wants to live up to the numbers that show how good they are. Both teams play at a fast pace and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of goals go in.

If you’re a betting person, Odds Shark says the Chicago Blackhawks will win by a very small margin, 3.0-2.8. However, the money line is dead even with both teams listed as -110. The prediction is Carolina is the under and the money will go there.

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I have zero expectations for this game, mostly because we don’t know what to expect with Colliton behind the bench. Look for both teams to come out firing on all cylinders, though. They both have something to prove. Therefore, I predict the Hurricanes will defeat the Blackhawks 4-3.

Follow along with live updates from tonight’s game on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up!

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