The Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes face off tonight in what will be both teams’ second game in as many nights. The Hurricanes are coming off of a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday while the Blackhawks were able to tie the game three times against the Buffalo Sabres before taking their first lead of the game in overtime – locking up their 24th victory of the season.
For the ‘Hawks and ‘Canes, this will be the second meeting between these two clubs since Dec. 30. In the first matchup of the season, the Hurricanes came out victorious by a score of 3-2 despite a late comeback attempt by Chicago. Dating back to last season, the Hurricanes have actually had the Blackhawks number – winning both of the meetings by a combined score of 7-1, including a 5-0 shutout on Jan. 26 of 2016.
The Blackhawks just beat the Buffalo Sabres for the 10th consecutive time Thursday night and will undoubtedly try to end the Hurricanes streak before it gets anywhere remotely close to that point. For the Hurricanes, another win against one of the NHL’s best teams would certainly give their team a spark and a big boost of confidence.
Carolina Hurricanes at Chicago Blackhawks
United Center – 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 6
Broadcast channels – CSN Chicago, NHLN-US
2016-17 Season Series:
Dec. 30 – Blackhawks 2 – Hurricanes 4
Carolina Hurricanes – 17-14-7 – 41 points
Away Record: 6-10-6
Hot Players: Jaccob Slavin, Sebastian Aho
Key Injuries: Eddie Lack, Elias Lindholm, Bryan Bickell
Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Ty Rattie
Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak
Brock McGinn-Jordan Staal-Derek Ryan
Joakim Nordstrom-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg
Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce
Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin-Ryan Murphy
Chicago Blackhawks – 24-12-5 – 53 Points
Home Record: 14-4-4
Hot Players: Artemi Panarin, Duncan Keith, Michal Kempny
Key Injuries: Marcus Kruger
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Vinnie Hinostroza-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero -Richard Panik
Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Niklas Hjalmarsson
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Chicago Blackhawks will be facing off against Teuvo Teravainen – the promising young star they traded to the Hurricanes during the offseason to help unload the contract of Bryan Bickell. The latter is currently nursing an injury and won’t be playing in the game, however.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Hurricanes have had the recent edge in the series against the Blackhawks, winning three consecutive games dating back to December 2015. They’ll look to make it four straight when they take on Chicago tonight at the United Center
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Blackhawks sent both Spencer Abbott and Gustav Forsling down to Rockford of the AHL. Abbott skated alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]In 78 games last season with the Blackhawks, Teravainen scored 13 goals and 35 points. In an increased role with the Hurricanes, the Helsinki-native has scored nine goals and 20 points in 38 games at his natural center position this season.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Hurricanes just activated Justin Faulk from the injured reserve Thursday. Unfortunately, with good news, came some bad news as the team also sent Elias Lindholm to the injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 30.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]6)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Blackhawks are starting Scott Darling in net after Corey Crawford played last night against Buffalo. Darling was great for Chicago in Crawford’s absence and will look to continue his strong season against the Hurricanes.
The Blackhawks and Hurricanes are two teams heading on two very different paths. For the Blackhawks, the window to win another Stanley Cup is now. The team is once again feeling the pressure of the salary cap and will need to make significant changes soon if they want to remain competitive for another few seasons. For the Hurricanes, however, the future is as bright as it will ever be. With many young stars already staking their claim at the NHL this season, and with more on the way in the coming years – many of whom put up stellar performances at the 2017 World Junior Championships, the Hurricanes look like a team to fear in a few years.