The Chicago Blackhawks are back at it again tonight as they play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blackhawks are coming off a shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, while the Maple Leafs dropped their last game 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams will try to get back in the win column tonight.
Here are a few notes for tonight's game:
- The Blackhawks have shuffled with their lines once again, hoping to ignite an offensive spark. Jonathan Toews will be paired with Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa on the first line, while Patrick Kane has moved to the second line to go along with Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp. Bryan Bickell has been moved down to the third line with Andrew Shaw and Joakim Nordstrom, while Marcus Kruger will centre the fourth line alongside Brandon Bollig and Brandon Pirri.
- Blackhawks defenseman Michael Kostka will be in the lineup tonight against his former team. With Kostka in the lineup, Sheldon Brookbank and Michal Rozsival are scratches.
- The Maple Leafs should be getting forward James van Riemsdyk back tonight as he has sat out the last three games with back spasms.
- Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer left Thursday's game early after getting knocked out by his own teammate. He is expected to be on the bench tonight as the backup.
- Toronto will be without Nikolai Kulemin, Frazer McLaren and Mark Fraser all due to injury. Forward David Clarkson is still suspended and won't make his debut for another week or so.
Battle Between The Pipes
Crawford has been pretty solid this season, but will be tested tonight against one of the Eastern Conference's higher scoring teams. Crawford currently ranks in the middle of the pack in goals against average and save percentage. He has also yet to record a shutout on the season.
Bernier is coming off a shaky performance against the Carolina Hurricanes which saw him get fooled by a hybrid icing play. Bernier let in a terrible goal which ultimately caused his team to lose the game. He will try to put that behind him and lead his team to victory tonight.
Players To Watch
Toews has been held without a point over the last three games. The Blackhawks Captain will lead the charge tonight on the team's newly renevated top line.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Forward, Dave Bolland: 3 G, 3 A, 6 P
Bolland is making his return to Chicago to play against his former team. He will probably be energized tonight, hoping to lead his new team to victory.
With Saad being moved up to the first line tonight, he will get more scoring opportunities playing with Toews and Hossa. Saad started the season strong but has since been limited to one point over the last five games.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Forward, Mason Raymond: 4 G, 4 A, 8 P
The Maple Leafs arguably stole Mason Raymond in the offseason, signing him to one year, $1 million contract. Raymond has four points in his last three games and will look to remain hot against the Blackhawks tonight.
Tonight's game begins at 6 pm CT.
Let's Go Hawks!
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