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Blackhawks seek playoff-clinching point vs. Senators

by Sean McCullen /

BLACKHAWKS (42-17-15) at SENATORS (29-29-14)


Last 10: Chicago 5-4-1; Ottawa 2-5-3

Season series: This is the final game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators. Captain Jonathan Toews' hat trick led the Blackhawks to a 6-5 win at United Center on Oct. 29.

Big story: The Blackhawks will clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win or an overtime/shootout loss. A loss by the Dallas Stars to the Nashville Predators would also do the trick. In the Central Division, the Blackhawks trail the first-place St. Louis Blues by eight points and hold a one-point lead on the Colorado Avalanche for second place. The Blues and Avalanche each have a game in hand on the Blackhawks.

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: Chicago lost to the Boston Bruins 3-0 at TD Garden on Thursday in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks have scored seven goals in four games since losing forward Patrick Kane to injury.

"Every game is different. You miss [Kane], you're trying some things, and we're seeing what it can look like," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But, a good defensive team, Boston is as stingy as there is anyway, so we'll see. One more game [Friday] night; we'll get back at it [against the Senators on the road]."

Chicago has not played in Ottawa since March 2, 2012, a 2-1 Blackhawks victory.

Senators: Ottawa has lost seven of its past eight games (1-4-3) and learned Thursday it will be without top goal-scorer Bobby Ryan for the rest of the season.

Ryan sustained a sports hernia in November and reaggravated the injury Saturday against the Dallas Stars. He had season-ending surgery Thursday.

"Bobby has worked hard to play through this injury to help his team and his teammates, and had yet to miss a game this season prior to the injury progressing to this point, so we're obviously disappointed that we won't have him available to us for the rest of the season," general manager Bryan Murray said. "We're confident that he'll recover in time to have a full summer of training that will allow him to be back in our lineup and help this team be successful next season."

Ryan scored 23 goals and added 25 assists in 70 games in his first season with the Senators.

Ottawa, which is eight points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot, can point to poor play on home ice as one reason for its disappointing season. The Senators are 13-15-6 record at Canadian Tire Centre.

"It's a combination of problems that we haven't figured out and haven't changed what we need to," center Kyle Turris said, according to the Ottawa Sun. "I don't know if it's just at home; I think it is just as a whole."

Who's hot: Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw has five goals and 10 points in his past 11 games . … Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has three goals and nine assists during an eight-game point streak.

Injury report: Kane (lower body) is expected to miss a few more weeks for Chicago. Left wing Bryan Bickell (undisclosed) and defenseman Michal Rozsival (lower body) are day-to-day. … Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips (upper body) and center Mika Zibanejad (upper body) are day-to-day. Phillips participated in practice Thursday.

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