Last night in Pittsburgh, the Penguins followed the blueprint necessary to beat the team with the NHL's best record, the beloved and Mighty Blackhawks. The Pens set a physical tone early, outworked the Hawks in the corners, got them on their heels, drew penalties and took advantage of the Hawk’s weak PK. Just as St. Louis, Boston, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton did earlier this year, the Pens worked that plan to a 3-0 lead, before the Hawks threw the kitchen sink at them in the 3rd, making it close. If the Hawks played the entire game like they did in the 3rd, there is no question that they win the game. Credit to the Razor for keeping the Hawks in the game early. But you can’t win em all. You must play and learn.
Tonight, the Hawks face the Habs a little bit tired after last night's loss and late arrival in Chicago. Crawford gets the start tonight as he's due for one and the Razor could probably use the rest. So tonight is a good test in more ways than one. With Kruger likely out for a little while, the Hawks moved Car Bomb to IR earlier today to make room for Brandon Pirri. Note tonight’s lineup changes below as I expect Kaner to center the #2 line.
Tonight's expected lineup:
The Crow (Confirmed)
Odds and Ends:
- The Hawks are 11-2-3 at home. They've outscored opponents 11-5 during three straight wins at the United Center.
- Despite last night’s loss, the Hawks remained atop the league's overall standings with 46 points.
- With the Canadien’s Carey Price having started nine straight games, backup tender, Peter Budaj is scheduled to start. Budaj, is 1-4-0 with a 3.83 goals-against average in his last four starts against the Hawks.
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