Preview: Blackhawks Look to Sweep Coyotes in Season Series

The Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes close out their season series Thursday at United Center. The Blackhawks hold a 2-0 series lead heading into tonight’s matchup, though the Coyotes gave Chicago a run for their money back on Feb. 2 when the Blackhawks narrowly escaped with a 4-3 victory. Still, the Blackhawks have outscored the Coyotes 8-3 in their matchups this season and they’ll look to finish strong against a rebuilding Coyotes franchise.

(Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE)

The Coyotes will look to win their second consecutive game for just the second time this month after a win against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Despite being inconsistent, the Coyotes have given some good teams a competitive matchup this season. The Blackhawks will need to play smart and not take anything for granted if they wanted to beat the young Coyotes team that has nothing to lose, but an opportunity to gain experience against one of the league’s best in Chicago.

The Blackhawks are looking to close out the season strong in search of the first seed in the Pacific division. After a win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, Chicago has shown that they’re still legitimate contenders for that first seed – something that the Wild will surely look to hold off with wins of their own. There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played in the regular season, but for the Blackhawks, every point counts.

Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks

United Center – 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 23

Broadcast channels –NBCSN, CSN-CH

2016-17 Season Series: 

Dec. 6 – Coyotes 0 – Blackhawks 4

Feb. 2 – Blackhawks 4 – Coyotes 3

Arizona Coyotes – 21-30-7 – 49 points

Away Record: 8-16-4

Hot Players: Christian Dvorak, Martin Hanzal

Key Injuries: Dave Bolland, Brad Richardson, Lawson Crouse, Louis Domingue

Projected lines:


Max Domi-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata

Brendan Perlini-Christian Dvorak-Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn-Alexander Burmistrov-Josh Jooris

Tobias Rieder-Jordan Martinook-Ryan White


Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski-Connor Murphy

Jakob Chychrun-Kevin Connauton

Starting Goaltender:

Mike Smith


Chicago Blackhawks – 35-18-5 – 79 Points

Home Record: 18-8-4

Hot Players: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz

Key Injuries: 

Projected lines:


Nick Schmaltz-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vince Hinostroza


Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Starting Goaltender:

Corey Crawford

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Chicago Blackhawks hold a 2-0 series lead over the Coyotes this season. With a win Thursday, they’d sweep the series at 3-0 and inch closer to the Minnesota Wild who sit atop the Central division.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Arizona Coyotes got the ball rolling in the trade market when they sent defenseman Michael Stone to the Calgary Flames. The Coyotes are near the bottom of the standings once again and could look to sell off more pieces as the trade deadline quickly approaches.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Jonathan Toews scored three goals and five points in the Blackhawks last game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. He’ll look to continue his hot streak against the Coyotes on Thursday while playing with linemates Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Schmaltz has posted seven points and Panik has posted nine points in the ‘Hawk last six games. They’ve worked well flanking Toews this season – something the Blackhawks should continue to utilize moving forward.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes are on opposite side of the standings. The Blackhawks are looking to make the playoffs and win their fourth Stanley Cup in the last seven years. For the Coyotes, the plan remains focused on the long-term with new general manager John Chayka looking to bring success to the state of Arizona amid all of the controversies that have surrounded the Coyotes hockey club. Every point counts, and while the Blackhawks don’t necessarily need to win this game to make the playoffs, they will need to win every game possible and earn every point if they want to overtake the Wild atop the standings.