Preview/Game thread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils


New Jersey Devils (9—14—4) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (11—12—5)

6 p.m. CST
Prudential Center

Projected starting goaltenders

ChicagoCorey Crawford (5–7–2, .904 save percentage, 3.04 goals against average, one shutout)
New JerseyMacKenzie Blackwood (8–8–3, .896 save percentage, 3.17 goals against average, one shutout)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (14.1%, 26th)
New Jersey (13.1%, 28th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (80.7%, 17th)
New Jersey (76.1%, 24th)

Shots for/against
Chicago (31.3, 16th; 35.9, 30th)
New Jersey (30.9, 20th; 30.6, Ninth)

Shooting percentage
Chicago (8.9%, 23rd)
New Jersey (8.1%, 27th)

Face off percentage
Chicago (48.9%, 24th)
New Jersey (47.4%, 28th)

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon Saad Jonathan Toews Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat Dylan Strome Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik David Kampf Kirby Dach
Anton Wedin Ryan Carpenter Zack Smith

Slater Koekkoek Erik Gustafsson
Calvin de Haan Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta Connor Murphy

New Jersey Devils

Jesper BoqvistNico HischierKyle Palmieri
Taylor HallPavel Zacha Jesper Bratt
Blake ColemanTravis ZajacNikita Gusev
Miles WoodJack HughesWayne Simmonds

Andy GreeneP.K. Subban
Sami VatanenDamon Severson
Will ButcherMirco Mueller


Book it, the Blackhawks are going to win the Cup this year. They have won one in a row and that one team is the one with the second overall best record.

Back to reality, Chicago jumped out to a 3–0 lead before the defense fell apart. Luckily for the Blackhawks and head coach Jeremy Colliton, the furious Boston comeback was just a bit too late and they were only able to send the game to overtime, rather than complete the comeback for a win. As a result, Jonathan Toews took advantage of a fallen Bruins defenseman and won the game with a rare, virtually end-to-end, breakaway in the extra frame.

Their opponent tonight, the New Jersey Devils, have had quite a week. They fired head coach John Hynes last week, then promoted bench coach (and former Blackhawks defenseman) Alain Nasreddine to interim head coach. Nasreddine’s first game did not go as he might have hoped, but the team was able to hang with the Vegas Golden Knights. But Jonathan Marchessault‘s third-period hat trick was just too much to overcome.

The Blackhawks expect to go with virtually the same lineup as they did in Boston last night. Corey Crawford will be in goal while Olli Maatta will be a game-time decision with flu-like symptoms. If Maatta cannot go, Dennis Gilbert will draw into his second game in a row since being recalled from Rockford on Wednesday.

Dylan Strome made his return to the lineup in Boston and contributed with a goal and an assist. His designated BFF, Alex DeBrincat, also broke a long scoring drought with a first-period power play goal. If the Blackahwks can continue to get more depth scoring, they will come out ahead before heading to Arizona to face the Coyotes, Sunday.

This is a team the Blackhawks should definitely beat, but they are the definition of Jekyll and Hyde. Which one shows up tonight? Comment below.

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