After delivering their fans an early Christmas gift in their 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, the Blackhawks are returning to the United Center tonight to host the Colorado Avalanche. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet beginning at 6:30 with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
The Blackhawks (26-7-6) brought Chicago some earlier holiday cheer on Monday, and tonight they'll look to keep their strong offensive production going against the recently-struggling Avalanche. The defending champions are 6-1-1 in their last eight matchups and have outscored their opponents 35-20 since Dec. 8.
The Avs (23-10-3) have dropped three of their last four; their last win came against the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 19. Their last two games resulted in shootout losses to the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. Tonight will conclude their difficult three-game road trip and they'll be desperate to get back in the win column.
Colorado's given the Blackhawks some difficulty in the past. Their last matchup resulted in a 5-1 loss for the Blackhawks — the only time Chicago's failed to score more than one goal in a game this season — and the Avalanche ended Chicago's record-breaking 24-game point streak last season in a 6-2 win.
But make sure to keep an eye on Patrick Kane tonight — he'll be looking to break his career-high 12-game point streak.
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane (22G, 27A), Patrick Sharp (18G, 18A), Jonathan Toews (13G, 21A), Duncan Keith (3G, 30A), Marian Hossa (14G, 18A)
Avalanche: Matt Duchene (16G, 18A), Ryan O'Reilly (12G, 13A), Gabriel Landeskog (10G, 14A), Paul Stastny (10G, 13A), PA Parenteau (9G, 13A)
Both teams have yet to announce their starting goaltenders, but Antti Raanta will likely be in net for the Blackhawks and Semyon Varlamov will likely do the same for the Avalanche. Varlamov has recorded a .925 save percentage and 2.40 goals-against average this season.
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