The Blackhawks finally return from the extended All-Star break tonight when they visit the Buffalo Sabres. The Hawks won their final two games before the break - a barnburner against the Capitals and a shootout thriller against the Islanders. The Sabres returned from the break on Wednesday when they defeated the Blue Jackets 5-4, but they were shut out 1-0 on Thursday at Dallas. Tonight will be the first meeting of the season between Chicago and Buffalo. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 PM central time.
- Yesterday, the Blackhawks assigned defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the Rockford IceHogs. Head coach Jeremy Colliton stated that he wants Jokiharju to be playing major minutes in all situations in Rockford instead of "playing just to survive" with the professional club. So that means Gustav Forsling will return to the lineup after missing some time before the break because of an upper-torso injury.
- The Sabres attack is carried mostly by Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner, and Sam Reinhart. Eichel leads Buffalo in points with 53 (16 goals, 37 assists), but Skinner does most of the scoring. He currently ranks second in the NHL in goals with 31, only trailing Ovechkin's 37 tallies.
- The Blackhawks top line of Drake Caggiula, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane will remain intact tonight. Kane and Toews combined for ten points against Washington in the second to last game before the break. Caggiula has yet to crack the score sheet as a member of that line, but it will be intriguing to see how he produces while playing with world-class talent.
Caggiula - Toews - Kane
DeBrincat – Strome – Kahun
Saad – Kampf – Kruger
Hayden – Anisimov – Kunitz
Keith – Seabrook
Forsling – Murphy
Koekkoek – Gustafsson
Skinner - Eichel - Reinhart
Thompson - Sobotka - Pomminville
Sheary - Mittelstadt - Rodrigues
Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo
McCabe - Ristolainen
Dahlin - Bogosian
Scandella - Beaulieu
Laugh It Off
With the Polar Vortex bringing record-low temperatures to Chicago over the past few days, the Nisei Lounge made a little treat out of a Chicago delicacy that Four Feathers panelist Tyler Jones would absolutely love.
Featured Photo: Chicago Tribune