The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are set to face off for the third time in the 2016-17 season. Both teams have recorded a win so far, though the Blues edge the Blackhawks in points as their loss came in overtime in their last home matchup with Chicago. The Blackhawks have been hot as of late, and with captain Jonathan Toews and defenseman Brent Seabrook back in the lineup, they look to push their win streak to four against a division rival in the Blues.
For St. Louis, this game could be monumental in their quest for first place in the division. The Blues currently hold the third spot in the division and sit six points behind the Blackhawks, though they do have a game-in-hand. This game could come down to special teams as the Blackhawks scored three power play goals in three attempts against the New York Islanders on Thursday night while the Blues have killed off 19 of their last 20 penalties.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be taking on the St. Louis Blues in the 2017 NHL Winter Classic atBusch Stadium on Jan 2. This game will serve as a preview for that huge matchup as both teams look to make their claim as the best team in the Central Division.
Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues
Scottrade Center – 7:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Broadcast channels – FS-MW, CSN-CH
2016-17 Season Series:
Oct 12 – Blues 5 – Blackhawks 2
November 9 – Blackhawks 2 – Blues 1
Chicago Blackhawks – 20-8-4 – 44 Points
Road Record: 8-6-1
Hot Players: Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa
Key Injuries: Corey Crawford
Ryan Hartman-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger -Richard Panik
Andrew Desjardins-Vinnie Hinostroza-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Trevor van Riemsdyk-Brian Campbell
St. Louis Blues – 17-10-4 – 38 Points
Hot Players: V. Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz-Paul Stastny-Nail Yakupov
Robby Fabbri-Jori Lehtera-Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen-Patrik Berglund-David Perron
Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves
Joel Edmundson-Alex Pietrangelo
Brad Hunt-Kevin Shattenkirk
Jay Bouwmeester-Colton Parayko
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Blackhawks have won three straight games and have points in each of their last five games. Heading into a divisional matchup with the St. Louis Blues, the ‘Hawks will look to continue that trend.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The St. Louis Blues have killed 19 of their last 20 penalties including 12 straight. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, remain last in the league with 73.3 penalty kill percentage. Important to note, however, is the fact that Chicago hasn’t allowed a goal in five straight games and could be turning the ship around in that department.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Chicago is 1-1-0 against the Blues this season. Tarasenko has recorded two goals and four points against the Blackhawks in those games as well as five goals and 14 points in his last eight games.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Marian Hossa continues to show that age is apparently just a number as he paces the team in goals with 16 at 37-years-old. He’s found the back of the net twice in the last three games and four in his last five.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]Scott Darling has been tremendous in net for the Blackhawks in the absence of Corey Crawford. After stumbling in his last game against the New York Islanders. Though the Blackhawks won, Darling still allowed four goals on 32 shots. He’ll look to get back on track Saturday in St. Louis.
Chicago and St. Louis have been putting together one of the best division rivalries in the NHL over the last few seasons. The games between these two clubs are typically intense, and with some recent postseason matchups coming into play as well, there’s no reason to believe there won’t be a playoff feel in this game with both teams sitting near the top of the Central Division standings.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.