The Blackhawks have been struggling in recent weeks. They are 5-6-0 and have allowed 38 goals in their last 11 games. They’re coming off consecutive home losses to Central Division opponents. The Blackhawks held a team meeting Monday to address their issues.
The Coyotes have had their own share of problems lately. They arrive to Chicago with a five-game losing streak and are 2-5-1 in January. The Coyotes are 16-24-5 overall this season.
The Blackhawks’ morning skate lines were Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa, Bryan Bickell – Brad Richards – Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp – Andrew Shaw - Teuvo Teravainen, Joakim Nordstrom – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith. Their defenseman pairings are expected to be Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson, David Rundblad - Michal Rozsival.
Antti Raanta will start in net for the Blackhawks. He’s 6-3-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
Mike Smith is expected to start in net for the Coyotes. He's 7-19-3 with a 3.43 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.
The Coyotes are led by Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s 12 goals and forward Antoine Vermette’s 30 points. Tobias Rieder is the only player with a positive plus/minus rating.
The Blackhawks are led by Kane’s 21 goals and 48 points. Saad is second on the team with 15 goals and has eight goals in the last 10 games.