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Chicago Blackhawks (27-7-6) at St. Louis Blues (24-7-5)

December 28th, 2013 at 5:06 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are in St. Louis on the second night of a back-to-back as they get ready to take on the Blues. The Blackhawks lead the Central Division with 60 points, while the Blues are right behind them in second. The Blackhawks have won four of their last five, including a 7-2 beatdown of the Colorado Avalanche last night. The Blues have won two of their last three, but have been off since Monday. This is the third of five meetings between the teams. The Blues have won the first two games, each by a score of 3-2.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • The Blues placed forward Alex Steen on injured reserve today as he has been dealing with a concussion. Steen leads the team with 24 goals and 38 points.
  • Patrick Kane enters tonight's game on a 13 game point streak, recording 22 points over that stretch.
  • Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is coming off a three goal, one assist performance last night against Colorado. Sharp now has 21 goals and 40 points on the season.
  • The Blackhawks are first in the NHL in scoring at 3.7 goals per game. The Blues are second with 3.47 goals per game. 
  • The Blackhawks are 7-0-2 in the second half of back-to-back games this season.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta (9-1-2, 2.18 GAA, .915 SV%)

Raanta will start in net again for the Blackhawks after playing last night. Raanta has started every game since Corey Crawford went down with a lower-body injury and has done a nice job filling in. Raanta has yet to face the Blues, so this will be a big test for him.

St. Louis Blues: Jaroslav Halak (17-6-3, 2.32 GAA, .909 SV%)

Halak has been solid for the Blues, but has struggled lately allowing 14 goals in his last five games. He has won both games against the Blackhawks this season, stopping 53 of the 57 shots he faced.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Jonathan Toews: 15 G, 23 A, 38 P

Toews scored twice last night after only scoring once in his previous 14 games. He now has 13 points over his last nine games and has seemed to put his offensive slump behind him.

St. Louis Blues: Forward, T.J. Oshie: 4 G, 26 A, 30 P

Oshie leads the team in assists and is tied for second on the team in points. Although scoring only four goals thus far, Oshie has found other ways to get on the stat sheet and has done a nice job getting his teammates involved. 

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Bryan Bickell: 6 G, 1 A, 7 P

Bickell only has one point over his last eight games and only two points over his last 15. He hasn't quite provided the same offense he did in the playoffs last year, but has had an altered role to start this season. 

St. Louis Blues: Forward, Jaden Schwartz, 11 G, 15 A, 26 P

Schwartz has four goals and seven points over his last five games. Schwartz has already surpassed his rookie totals from last season and looks to be well on his way to 50 points this season. 

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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