The Blackhawks and Sharks will face off at the United Center tonight for their third and final time throughout the regular season. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet, beginning with Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7:00.
The Blackhawks and Sharks just can't stay away from each other.
These two teams have faced off three times this month alone, beginning with Chicago's 5-3 victory in San Jose on Feb. 5. Since that game, both teams have had dramatic seasons, but for two very different reasons.
Heading into the early February matchup, the Sharks stood just behind the Blackhawks as the No. 2 seeded team in the Western Conference. They had only lost one game in regulation -- to the Anaheim Ducks the night prior -- and were in a tight race with Chicago for the No. 1 seed. But after that loss, the Sharks went on to drop their next four matchups, including another to Chicago just six days ago. They earned their first win this month on Tuesday against the Blues.
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The Blackhawks, on the other hand, have a chance to make history tonight. If Chicago gains at least one point and remains undefeated in regulation, they'll have done so throughout 18 consecutive games, topping Anaheim's 2006-07 record. But the Blackhawks insist tonight isn't about breaking records.
"We're not really downplaying it," Patrick Sharp said after Thursday's practice at Johnny's Ice House. "It's just not an issue in here. It's pretty cool to be that close to an NHL record and we might talk about it [Friday] before the game, but we're just more focused on playing [well]."
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Goaltender Corey Crawford has been cleared to play, but Ray Emery will get the start in net tonight against the Sharks. Defenseman Brent Seabrook will return to the lineup after suffering a groin injury against the Kings on Sunday and Daniel Carcillo will take the ice for the first time since his team's season opener in Los Angeles. Marian Hossa rejoined his teammates on the ice on Thursday after sustaining a head injury from Canucks forward Jannik Hansen and is expected to lace his skates up tonight at the United Center.
Join the conversation on Twitter during tonight's matchup by using #HawksTalk and don't forget to check out the latest team-related social media trends on Blackhawks Pulse.