Following their 3-2 shootout victory over the Panthers on Tuesday, the Blackhawks will close out their two-game road trip in Florida when they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet beginning at 6 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
The last time the Blackhawks and Lightning met, the defending Stanley Cup champions played over 21 minutes before allowing their opponent a single shot on goal. But despite the lack of action Corey Crawford saw at the start of that evening, Tampa Bay went on to defeat the Blackhawks in a shootout.
It was the first case of the Blackhawks' third-period problems seen so far this season, and tonight the team will look to reverse a number of storylines from their past matchup against Tampa Bay back on Oct. 5.
“It’s not that we’re not aware of the habit we have of giving up leads in the third,” captain Jonathan Toews told reporters on Tuesday night at the BT&T Center. “Maybe it’s a combination of us having to play better and picking up our energy and maybe the way the other team is coming at us. We talked about it going into the third period that we wanted to learn from our mistakes. Didn’t quite do the job we wanted to do."
The Lightning (5-3-0) are entering tonight's game following a 5-0 shutout loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. But that game was out of the norm for the Bolts this season, who have been making an early impact with two of the league's top-20 point scorers in Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.
"We've got to put this in the past," goaltender Ben Bishop told the media following the loss. "We've got a very hard test coming up in the defending Stanley Cup champions. We can be a lot better, and we will be."
Blackhawks: Niklas Hjalmarsson (6A), Patrick Kane (4G, 2A), Brandon Saad (2G, 4A), Marian Hossa (3G, 2A), Duncan Keith (5A)
Lightning: Martin St. Louis (4G, 6A), Steven Stamkos (5G, 5A), Teddy Purcell (4G, 4A), Valtteri Filppula (4G, 2A), Alex Killorn (2G, 4A)
Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville announced backup netminder Nikolai Khabibulin will get the start in net against his former team.
Bishop will be in net tonight for Tampa Bay. The 26-year-old has recorded a .924 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average this season.