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Anaheim Ducks (36-8-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (30-8-11)

January 17th, 2014 at 1:52 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action tonight as they play host to the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks are 1-1-3 in their last five games, only once scoring more than two goals in a game. The Ducks have won eight straight and 18 of their last 19. They are coming off a 9-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. Tonight is the second of three meetings between the teams. The Ducks won the first meeting 3-2 in a shootout last month.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Ducks forward Corey Perry has 10 points over his last six games. He leads the team with 27 goals and is second on the team with 53 points.
  • Jonathan Toews has 14 points over his last 11 games for the Blackhawks. Toews is third on the team in goals (17) and points (47).
  • The Blackhawks penalty killing unit ranks second last in the NHL, killing off penalties only 76.4% of the time. The Ducks power play isn't spectacular, but they are coming off a franchise-record six power play goals on Wednesday against what was the best penalty killing team in the league in Vancouver.
  • The Blackhawks continue to switch up their lines in hopes of sparking their offense. It will be interesting to see if anything clicks tonight against the Ducks. 
  • Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen will be back in the lineup tonight. Mark Fistric will be the odd man out.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (17-7-7, 2.48 GAA, .911 SV%)

Crawford is winless in his last eight games, however he has been playing better as of late. He has stopped 163 of his last 176 shots, good for a 92.6% save percentage during that stretch. Crawford didn't play in the first meeting between the teams as rookie Antti Raanta got the call.

Anaheim Ducks: Jonas Hiller (23-4-4, 2.34 GAA, .914 SV%)

Hiller has won 14 straight contests and hasn't lost a game in regulation since November 26. On his last game on January 12 against the Detroit Red Wings, Hiller recorded his third shutout of the season. In the first game against the Blackhawks this season, Hiller picked up the win by stopping 23 of 25 shots.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Kane: 23 G, 33 A, 56 P

Kane is third in the league with 56 points. Despite being on pace for his best season in the NHL, Kane has failed to record a point in four of his last five games and only has two points during that stretch. Kane will be suiting up for Team USA in the Olympics and will take on the likes of Ducks forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Anaheim Ducks: Forward, Ryan Getzlaf: 23 G, 32 A, 55 P

Getzlaf is fourth in the NHL in points and leads the way for the red hot Ducks. He has 11 points over his last seven games and is currently on a five-game point streak. Getzlaf will be suiting up as a member of Team Canada for the Olympics and will take on Kane once again in Sochi.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Kris Versteeg: 8 G, 15 A, 23 P

Versteeg had one goal and one assist in the first meeting between the teams. He has gone six games without a point and has seen his ice time slowly decrease. With the Blackhawks' offense struggling lately, it would be nice for Versteeg to get his game going again and help the Blackhawks pick up a win.

Anaheim Ducks: Forward, Dustin Penner: 11 G, 15 A, 26 P

Penner has also been struggling recording just two points over his last 10 games. Penner is a big body at 6'4 and can cause problems in front of the net. He needs to enforce his will more in front of the net as the Ducks search for some offense from him.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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