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Preview: Blackhawks at Avalanche

Chicago goes for team-record 25th road win; Colorado tries to finish strong

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (50-22-7) at AVALANCHE (21-54-3)

9 p.m. ET; ALT2, WGN, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks need a win and a Washington Capitals loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs to stay in the running for the Presidents' Trophy. They're five points back with three games left, and the Capitals have one game in hand. They already have clinched the Central Division and No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. A win at Pepsi Center would be their 25th on the road, surpassing the Blackhawks-record 24 wins away from home in 2014-15. "Certainly it's something to shoot for and try to achieve," coach Joel Quenneville said. The Blackhawks have three games remaining, all on the road. "Our group put us in an excellent spot, finishing first [in the division] and first in the conference," Quenneville said. "That was the bonus, getting the first seeding, but the challenge is going forward. We know the hurdles that are going to be coming. The first round is the most competitive you're going to have. That will be a great test. We're still looking to see who that it is." Backup goalie Scott Darling will start. The Blackhawks are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday and are 2-2-1 in the past five games.

 

Avalanche team scope

Goalie Calvin Pickard will start for the Colorado Avalanche, who want to finish on a positive note. "It's hard to imagine that we're sitting like this with four games left," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We have to make sure that we make the most of it. We have to make sure that we play for the fans and play for one another and show pride. I know my team is going to come out and work as hard as we possibly can and try to finish this thing off the right way." The Avalanche have lost eight of the past nine games (1-8-0) and three of the past four at home (1-3-0), where they are 12-25-2. Defenseman Duncan Siemens and forward Rocco Grimaldi will play after being recalled Monday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Siemens, 23, was the picked in the first round (No. 11) in the 2011 NHL Draft. His only previous NHL game was against the Blackhawks on April 11, 2015. "I'm happy for the opportunity and have to take advantage of it," said Siemens, who will be paired with Cody Goloubef. Grimaldi, 24, is San Antonio's leading scorer with 51 points (29 goals, 22 assists) in 68 games. He'll play right wing with left wing Landeskog and center Tyson Jost.

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik 

Artemi Panarin -- Tanner Kero -- Patrick Kane 

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Marian Hossa

Tomas Jurco -- Andrew Desjardins -- Vinnie Hinostroza 

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya -- Michal Kempny

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk  

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Niklas Hjalmarsson , John Hayden, Dennis Rasmussen, Michal Rozsival, Jordin Tootoo

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body)

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Sven Andrighetto -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog -- Tyson Jost -- Rocco Grimaldi

Matt Nieto -- J.T. Compher -- Matt Duchene

Mikhail Grigorenko -- Carl Soderberg -- Rene Bourque 

Mark Barberio -- Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin -- Tyson Barrie

Cody Goloubef -- Duncan Siemens

Calvin Pickard

Jeremy Smith

Scratched: Joe Colborne, John Mitchell, Fedor Tyutin, Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Blake Comeau (leg), Anton Lindholm (head)

 

Status report

Anisimov and Hjalmarsson aren't on the trip. Anisimov skated Monday and did well but probably will remain in Chicago until the Blackhawks return home for the playoffs. Quenneville said. Hjalmarsson is with his wife, who is expecting their second child.

 

Who's hot

Panarin has six points (five goals, one assist) during a four-game point streak, and 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his past 13 games. Kane has 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in the past 19 games. Panik has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. Seabrook has three assists in the past two games. ... Andrighetto has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past nine games. Compher has two points (one goal, one assist) in his past two games.

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