Chicago Blackhawks vs St Louis Blues
The Chicago Blackhawks’ six-game winning streak has been built on a foundation of a potent 1-2 punch involving reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews. The strong goaltending of Corey Crawford is not to be gone unnoticed either. The Blackhawks look to continue their good fortune on all fronts and avenge a season-opening loss to the St Louis Blues. The Central Division rivals meet at Scottrade Center on Wednesday (Enter Contest).
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (9-3-1)
The Hawks’ top pair (Kane & Toews) is arguably the best within the past half decade and there is no sign of slowing down from them. Kane collected three goals and five assists during the winning streak. Toews answered his traditional slow start out of the blocks to record of eight points. Veteran Marian Hossa set up a goal before scoring in overtime in a 4-3 win over Dallas on Sunday to increase his point total to seven (five goals, two assists) in his last six games and 1,100 in his decorated career. New linemate Artem Anisimov also tallied to extend his career-high point streak to 11 games, but he was held off the scoresheet in Chicago’s 5-2 setback against St. Louis on October 12.
Crawford yielded three goals in that contest to fall to 14-5-5 lifetime versus the St Louis Blues but has stopped 164-of-169 shots while posting two shutouts during the Blackhawks’ current winning streak. Rookie Tyler Motte is expected to miss three weeks with a lower-body injury.
ABOUT THE BLUES (7-4-2)
Goalie Jake Allen permitted nine goals in a two-game stretch before stopping 22-of-23 shots in a 5-1 victory over visiting Colorado on Sunday. The 26-year-old New Brunswick native has played significantly better at home than on the road. He posted a 3-0-1 record with a 0.98 goals-against average and .959 save percentage at Scottrade Center as opposed to 2-3-1 mark with a 3.42 GAA and .864 save percentage away from the Gateway City. Right winger Vladimir Tarasenko recorded two goals and an assist in the first meeting with the Blackhawks this season. Tarasenko has collected 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in as many career encounters with the division rivals. Mired in a five-game point drought, 2012 top overall pick Nail Yakupov is expected to be a healthy scratch for the third straight game. It’s a decision that hasn’t pleased the Russian too much.
An upper-body injury to Joel Edmundson will send fellow defenseman Petteri Lindbohm into the lineup. He’s has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League just two day’s ago. The Blues scored three power-play goals in the first meeting with the Blackhawks but are just 1-for-21 in their last six games.