Quick Hitter Preview: Blackhawks vs. Panthers

Hawks vs. Panthers 12/23/18

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The Blackhawks are on a three-game winning streak. Yes, you read that correctly. A toughly contested home win vs. Nashville on Tuesday and back-to-back road wins, including a 2-1 victory at Colorado on Friday night, comprise the longest winning streak of the season for Chicago. The Hawks will look to keep that momentum going tonight when the Florida Panthers visit the United Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 PM central time.

Three Things:

  • Great goaltending has been the backbone of this three-game winning streak. Collin Delia was spectacular in net on Friday night against Colorado. His 35-save performance helped him capture his first ever NHL win, and the Blackhawks third straight win. Fellow goaltender Cam Ward was also spectacular in the prior two games against Nashville and Dallas. Ward will look to continue his strong play tonight at the United Center.
  • Dylan Strome has been very quiet recently. He only has one goal in his last five games. Strome was put back at center in today’s morning skate, so keep an eye on him. He possibly may have a big night after not doing much out on Artem Anisimov’s left wing.
  • The Blackhawks recalled center Jacob Nilsson from Rockford yesterday and returned Luke Johnson to the AHL. Nilsson will be centering the fourth line tonight and getting his first chance at NHL action this evening. Nilsson was coached by Jeremy Colliton over in Sweden, so there is familiarity there for the young head coach.

Projected Lineups:

After today’s morning skate, it appears that Chris Kunitz will return to the lineup for the first time in the last six games. Otherwise, the lineup will likely remain the same as follows:

Blackhawks

Saad – Toews – Kahun

Anisimov – Strome – Kane

DeBrincat – Kampf – Sikura

Kunitz – Nilsson – Perlini

Keith – Gustafsson

Forsling – Seabrook

Dahlstrom – Murphy

Ward

Delia

Panthers

Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Borgstrom – Hoffman

Malgin – McCann – Brouwer

Haley – Sceviour – Hawryluk

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Weegar

Kiselevich – Pysyk

Luongo

Reimer

Laugh It Off:

If you haven’t seen the Colorado analysis from Friday night, the announcers thought that Delia would be “shaking in his boots”. Instead, they looked dumb and gave Blackhawks fans a great laugh when Delia made a 35-save performance for the win. Thanks to Jeff Osborn for the great commentary on the video:


Featured Image: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 

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