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Anaheim Ducks (18-7-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (20-6-4)

December 6th, 2013 at 6:55 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

Two of the NHL's best teams collide tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks play host to the Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks have lost two games in a row, including a 4-3 loss last night in Minnesota against the Wild. The Ducks have been off since Tuesday but have also lost two in a row. This is the first of three meetings between the teams.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 16 goals and 33 points.
  • Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus will be back in the lineup tonight after missing some time due to an illness. Andrew Shaw (upper-body) will still be out of the lineup.
  • The Blackhawks are undefeated when holding a lead after the first period of play. The Ducks are second in the league in winning percentage when trailing after the first period.
  • Both teams are amongst the tops in goals scored and shots on net. It should be a fast-paced game, but the Blackhawks' energy level will be put to the test as they played last night on the road.
  • The Ducks will be without forward Matheiu Perreault as he is still dealing with a lower-body injury. Perreault has five goals and 15 points on the season. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin will also be out of the lineup tonight.
  • Corey Perry leads the Ducks with 16 goals and is second on the team with 31 points. Perry is on a five-game point streak, recording seven points.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta (2-0-0, 2.16 GAA, .917 SV%)

Raanta will get his third career NHL start tonight as Corey Crawford started last night's game in Minnesota. Raanta has allowed three goals in each of the three games he has appeared in and in his two starts he has stopped 52 of the 56 shots he has faced.

Anaheim Ducks: Jonas Hiller (9-4-4, 2.65 GAA, .910 SV%)

Hiller is 0-1-2 in his last three games, allowing 10 goals. Although struggling lately, Hiller still has the tools of a top goaltender in the NHL and he currently sits tied for fourth in the league with two shutouts.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Marian Hossa: 12 G, 9 A, 21 P

Hossa has seven points over his last seven games and continues to be a scoring presence on the power play for the Blackhawks. The 34 year old is also one of the best defensive forwards in the league and is showing no signs of slowing down on either side of the ice.

Anaheim Ducks: Forward, Ryan Getzlaf: 14 G, 18 A, 32 P

Getzlaf is on an 11-game point streak, recording 16 points over that stretch. His 32 points lead the Ducks and rank him tied for fourth in the NHL. Getzlaf is a play maker but also knows how to find the back of the net in bunches.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Joakim Nordstrom: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P

Nordstrom is in his second stint with the Blackhawks this season as he was recently recalled from Rockford. His fresh legs will be very important as the team could be tired from playing last night. Nordstrom will also be called upon to play a big role on the penalty kill.

Anaheim Ducks: Forward, Nick Bonino: 7 G, 12 A, 19 P

Bonino has five points over his last five games and is starting to become of the team's better forwards. Bonino's performance on the second line is crucial as their top line is heavily stacked.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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