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Chicago Blackhawks (29-8-9) at Montreal Canadiens (25-15-5)

January 11th, 2014 at 12:01 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action tonight as they are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. The Blackhawks are 1-1-2 in their last four games and will look to get back on track tonight. The Canadiens are 2-1-1 in their last four and will look to take down the defending Stanley Cup champions tonight. This is the first of two meetings between the teams. The other game will be played on April 9 in Chicago.

Here are some notes for tonight`s game:

  • Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 54 points, but has failed to record a point in four of his last five games.
  • The Blackhawks lines for tonight will be as follows: Sharp-Toews-Hossa, Bickell-Kruger-Kane, Saad-Handzus-Versteeg, Bollig-Smith-Shaw. The Blackhawks are hoping they can reignite their offense with the changes.
  • Michael Kostka will be the Blackhawks`sixth defenseman tonight. Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank will be the healthy scratches.
  • Defenseman P.K. Subban leads the Canadiens with 33 points. Subban has failed to record a point in three straight games and was named a healthy scratch earlier in the week due to his attitude.
  • Canadiens forward George Parros will make his return tonight as he has been out since December 14 with a concussion. Francois Bouillon will be a healthy scratch. The Canadiens will also be without forward Alex Galchenyuk who is out with a hand injury.
  • Corey Crawford will see a familiar face on the Canadiens bench as former-goaltending coach Stephane Waite is now with Montreal.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (17-7-5, 2.49 GAA, .910 SV%)

The Quebec native will get the start tonight in his hometown. Crawford is 0-1-2 since returning from a lower-body injury and has allowed a total of eight goals on 108 shots. Crawford will try to get back on track tonight with several family members and friends in attendance.

Montreal Canadiens: Carey Price (20-11-4, 2.22 GAA, .928 SV%)

Price was recently named to Team Canada and will try to prove tonight why he deserves to be on the team. Price is 4-0-2 in his last six games, but he has allowed 18 goals over that stretch. In three career games against the Blackhawks, Price is 2-1-0 with a 1.66 goals against average and a .954 save percentage.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Sharp: 25, 22 A, 47 P

Sharp leads the Blackhawks with 25 goals. He has six points over his last four games and 13 points over his last eight games. Sharp is having arguably his best season in the NHL and is trying to surpass all his season-high totals this season.

Montreal Canadiens: Forward, Max Pacioretty: 19 G, 7 A, 26 P

Pacioretty leads the team with 19 goals, but that`s where the majority of his points come from. He has seven points over his last five games and will try to keep his strong play going tonight against a struggling Blackhawks team.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Marcus Kruger: 4 G, 14 A, 18 P

With Kruger moving up to the second line for tonight`s game, pressure will be on him to perform. The second line has really struggled in the last five games and the team is hoping Kruger can get it going again. Kruger enters the game on a two-game point streak.

Montreal Canadiens: Forward, Brendan Gallagher: 11 G, 10 A, 21 P

Gallagher has three points over his last four games. The second-year player is turning into a solid piece for the Canadiens and is well on his way to surpass his totals in goals (15), assists (13) and points (28) from his rookie season.

Tonight`s game starts at 6 pm. CT.

Let`s Go Hawks!

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