NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 28th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (16-0-3) at St. Louis Blues (10-6-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Following a rare come-from-behind victory earlier this
week, the Chicago Blackhawks aim to extend their NHL record point streak on
Thursday evening in a road matchup with the rival St. Louis Blues.
The Blackhawks found themselves in a rare position on Monday against the
Edmonton Oilers: trailing going into the third period. It marked only the
third time this season that Chicago was behind after 40 minutes, but Viktor
Stalberg scored a tying goal just 2:24 into the third period and Marian Hossa
capped the comeback with the winner 1:44 into overtime in a 3-2 decision.
Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who extended their record season-
opening point streak to 19 games at 16-0-3. They also improved to 2-0-1 this
season when trailing after two periods and 10-0-3 in one-goal games. Each of
Chicago's last five games have been decided by the slim margin.
"The biggest thing is that we don't want to lose right now," Kane said. "We
want to keep this thing going. I'm telling you, after the second period guys
weren't very happy that we were down a goal and we knew we wanted to come back
and change that right away."
Ray Emery made 17 saves in Chicago's sixth straight victory, which came in the
finale of a seven-game homestand. The Blackhawks moved to 8-0-1 as the hosting
club this season.
Chicago center Dave Bolland missed his second straight game with an upper-
body injury and isn't expected to play in this game, while Corey Crawford is
set to make his second start since his return from injury. The 'Hawks
netminder is 7-1-1 with a 2.79 goals against average in his career versus the
Crawford made 32 saves in a 3-2 home win over the Blues on Jan. 22, the
Blackhawks' third in a row in this series and seventh in the past nine
meetings. All three games of the current series win streak have been decided
by one goal as well.
The Blues have won five of their past seven in St. Louis versus the Blackhawks
and are expected to start Jaroslav Halak on Thursday. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.00
GAA at home in his career versus Chicago.
St. Louis has been off since Saturday, but lost another player to injury
during its break as Andy McDonald suffered a left knee injury in practice on
Tuesday and landed on injured reserve the following day. In 18 games this
season, he has registered three goals and eight assists.
Alex Steen, who leads the club with 16 points, was also shaken up in Tuesday's
practice and did not practice on Wednesday, but has not been ruled out for
Those injuries come after St. Louis placed rookie Vladimir Tarasenko on IR due
to a concussion suffered in last Wednesday's 1-0 overtime setback to Colorado.
The Blues were without the talented youngster for their most recent game, but
still managed a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Chris Stewart and David Perron had the goals, while Halak came up with 18
saves as the Blues snapped a two-game slide and moved to 4-1-1 in their last
"Guys did a hell of a job tonight, especially in the second and third just
blocking the shots," Halak said. "Sometimes it's not easy, it wasn't pretty at
times, but we got it done. We got two points and now lets keep moving
St. Louis also snapped a five-game slide at home and did not allow a power-
play goal for a third straight game. It has killed off all nine penalties in
02/28 10:42:09 ET