Preview: Blackhawks at Coyotes
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[December 29, 2015]
Although they boast the league's
points leader, the Chicago Blackhawks have seen their offense dry up to
bookend the Christmas break. Patrick Kane (NHL-best 50 points) looks to
make a dent on the scoresheet for the first time in three contests as
the Blackhawks open a two-game trek on Tuesday versus the Arizona
Chicago posted 11 goals during its three-game winning streak, but
came up empty in a 4-0 setback to Dallas last Tuesday and was nearly
blanked again five days later before defenseman Brent Seabrook
tallied with three seconds remaining in a 2-1 setback to Carolina.
The Blackhawks have fared favorably against the Coyotes, winning six
of the last seven meetings between the teams - including two of
three last season. Antoine Vermette netted the deciding tally in the
shootout to lift Arizona to victory on Feb. 9. Vermette was later
dealt to Chicago in a move that aided the club to its third Stanley
Cup title in six years.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Arizona
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (20-13-4): Andrew Shaw, who scored three times
versus Arizona last season, returned to the top line in Monday's
practice and Teuvo Teravainen was dropped to the third. "It could be
short term," coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times of
the switch. "Teuvo's been in and out there. Shaw seems like he's
playing well. It could be permanent, or it could be short term.
We'll see. But (itís) more like a reward. Shaw deserves a chance to
get up there." Teravainen was paired with Andrew Desjardins and
rookie center Phillip Danault in Monday's practice.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (17-15-3): After notching three assists in a 4-3
setback to Los Angeles on Saturday, Mikkel Boedker scored and set up
a goal the following night in a 2-1 victory over Colorado. The
26-year-old Dane certainly has been instrumental during Arizona's
3-0-1 stretch, but he has failed to score a goal in all 17 career
meetings with Chicago. Anders Lindback limped into the Christmas
break having surrendered 15 goals in his previous four tilts, but
turned aside 38-of-39 shots versus the Avalanche to earn his second
straight start on Tuesday.
[to top of second column]
1. Chicago recalled rookie Erik Gustafsson from Rockford of the
American Hockey League on Monday and placed fellow D David Rundblad
2. Coyotes RW Viktor Tikhonov was claimed on Dec. 6 after being
placed on waivers by the Blackhawks
3. Vermette's next goal will be the 200th of his career.
PREDICTION: Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2
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