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PREVIEW: Blackhawks at Lightning - Feb. 26, 2020

Chicago takes four-game road swing to Florida with second meeting of the season vs. Tampa Bay

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum / Blackhawks.com

TIME: 6 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH RADIO: WGN Radio 720 STREAM: NHL.TV & MyTeamsApp

The Blackhawks open a Florida two-step on Thursday night with their second meeting of the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. They'll face Tampa's cross-state rival on Saturday to close out the current four-game road trip. 

 
TEAM RECORDS

CHI: 27-28-8, 62 PTS
TBL: 40-18-5, 85 PTS


LAST TIME OUT

Chicago dropped a back-and-forth affair against the Blues on Tuesday night, 6-5. The lead changed hands five times and the teams combined for six goals in the third period. Duncan Keith Connor Murphy Patrick Kane Matthew Highmore  and Brandon Saad  all scored for the Blackhawks in the defeat.

Tampa Bay dropped its third-straight game on Tuesday night, falling at home to the Maple Leafs, 4-3. Nikita Kucherov, Pat Maroon and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning, while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced. 

In the only other meeting betweent the two sides this season, Tampa took a 4-2 victory at the United Center on Nov. 21. Dylan Strome and Brent Seabrook scored the two goals for Chicago in the contest.

Video: Colliton on lineup vs. TBL 


LINEUP NOTES

Corey Crawford will start in goal, while Lucas Carlsson draws back into the lineup for his second NHL game in place of Nick Seeler. 

The Blackhawks did not run lines during their optional morning skate, but here's the projected lineup based on Wednesday's practice:

Kubalik - Toews - Caggiula
Saad - Carpenter -Kane
DeBrincat - Dach - Strome
Highmore - Kampf - Nylander

Keith - Boqvist
Carlsson - Murphy
Maatta - Koekkoek


POWER SURGE

The Blackhawks notched a season-high three power-play goals on Tuesday night and now have scored PPG's in three straight games. The game marked the first time Chicago has scored multiple power-play tallies in a game since Nov. 7 vs. VAN and the three were the most in a game since Jan. 9, 2018 at OTT (4). Chicago's longest streak with a power-play goal in consecutive games this season came from Dec. 5-12 when the Blackhawks scored PPG's in five consecutive games.


MILESTONE MAN

Duncan Keith recorded his 100th career goal on Tuesday against St. Louis, becoming the 100th NHL blueliner and fourth Blackhawks defenseman to reach 100 career goals (Doug Wilson, 225; Bob Murray, 132; Seabrook, 103). The veteran is on a season-high-tying four-game point streak (1G, 5A) since Feb. 19.

He notched his 600th career point with an assist on Friday night against the Predators, becoming the 10th skater in team history to eclipse the 600-point plateau. Keith registered his 500th career assist in last Wednesday's second period, becoming the seventh Blackhawk and first Chicago defenseman since Doug Wilson (554) to reach the 500-assist mark.

Video: Koekkoek on return to Tampa


WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Thursday will be the first game back in Tampa Bay for defenseman Slater Koekkoek, who was drafted by the Lightning 10th overall in 2012 and played his first four-plus seasons in Tampa. Koekkoek played 85 games for Tampa Bay prior to being traded to the Blackhawks on Jan. 11, 2019. 

Forward Ryan Carpenter grew up two hours from Tampa in Oviedo, Fla. and will skate in his fourth NHL game at Amalie Arena on Thursday night.

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