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Chicago Blackhawks (33-10-13) at San Jose Sharks (34-15-6)

February 1st, 2014 at 2:59 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are in San Jose tonight to take on the Sharks in a Western Conference battle. The Blackhawks are coming off a 5-2 win on Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks after losing four straight. The Sharks have lost three in a row after winning six straight. They have only scored one goal in their last three games. This is the third and final meeting between the teams. The season series is currently tied 1-1.

Here are some notes from the game:

  • The Blackhawks are 1-1 on their current seven-game road trip.
  • The Sharks have a 19-3-3 home record, while the Blackhawks have a 15-6-6 record on the road.
  • Marian Hossa sat out this morning's skate, but is expected to play tonight. Hossa has goals in two straight games for the Blackhawks.
  • Sharks forward Joe Thornton leads the team with 55 points, but has been held without a point in four of his last five games.
  • The Sharks are still without forward Logan Couture who is recovering from hand surgery. 

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (20-8-9, 2.45 GAA, .911 SV%)

It is expected that Crawford will get the start tonight against the Sharks. Crawford is 1-0-1 against the Sharks this season. During those games he has posted a 1.44 goals against average and a .955 save percentage. Although he has been solid for the Blackhawks this season, Crawford is still in search of his first shutout of the year.

San Jose Sharks: Antti Niemi (27-11-6, 2.38 GAA, .913 SV%)

Niemi ranks second in the NHL with 27 wins. He is coming off a loss where he allowed three goals on 27 shots. He had won his four previous starts prior to that loss. Niemi played in the first meeting against the Blackhawks this season where he allowed five goals on 27 shots while picking up the loss.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Kane: 25 G, 35 A, 60 P

Kane seems to be getting back on track after a sluggish start to the month. He has four points over his last five games and still leads the Blackhawks with 60 points. Kane has had what seems to be a revolving door at the center position on his line and is hoping to find some consistency with his line mates.

San Jose Sharks: Forward, Joe Pavelski: 28 G, 25 A, 53 P

Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals and is second in points. He has been one of the best forwards in the NHL this season, but has struggled lately failing to record a point in each of his last three games. Pavelski is on the verge of breaking his previous career high in goals (31) and points (66).

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Brandon Saad: 17 G, 22 A, 39 P

Saad has two goals and two assists over his last two games. The 21 year old has already surpassed his rookie totals from last year and is staring at a 50 point season. Saad is continuing to get better and is becoming a reliable forward for the Blackhawks.

San Jose Sharks: Forward, Brent Burns: 14 G, 15 A, 29 P

The defenseman-turned-forward was a force for the Sharks in November and December, but has since cooled off. Standing at 6`5, Burns presents a mismatch for many defensemen and the Sharks are hoping he can get create a problem for the Blackhawks tonight. Burns is without a point over his last five games.

Tonight's game starts at 9:30 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!


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Tags: ANTTI NIEMI, Blackhawks, BRANDON SAAD, BRENT BURNS, Chicago, Chicago Blackhawks, COREY CRAWFORD, Hockey, JOE PAVELSKI, JOE THORNTON, NHL, PATRICK KANE, PATRICK SHARP, SAN JOSE SHARKS, SHARKS

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