Blackhawks face the Avalanche for the 4th time

After their dominating performance during their Stadium Series outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blackhawks (36-12-14) are back indoors, in the United Center at home, to face the Colorado Avalanche (39-17-5). The Avs sit just behind the Hawks in the Central division, 3 points behind Chicago, with one game in hand.

 

These teams have faced one another three times already this season, the Hawks winning one, and losing one in regulation, and one in OT. The Avalanche, led by new coach Patrick Roy, have been extremely dangerous this season, playing a physical, skilled game.

 

The special units numbers are fairly similar between Chicago and Colorado; where the Avalanche’s penalty kill is faring better, Chicago’s power play is slightly more efficient. The Blackhawks overall have produced more points, led by Patrick Kane with 64 points (27G, 37A), Patrick Sharp with 60 points (29G, 31A) and Jonathan Toews with 58 points (21G, 37A).

 

The Avalanche are led by Matt Duchene with 55 points (19G, 36A), captain Gabriel Landeskog with 52 points (19G, 33A), and rookie Nathan MacKinnon with 49 points (19G, 33A). Their goalies are both having a good season - Jean-Sebastien Giguere started the season on a very hot streak, and Semyon Varlamov has been solid for them, posting 2.48 GAA and .925 SV%. He’s likely to start on Tuesday.

 

For the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford and his 2.31 GAA and .918 SV% will probably start for the team. He’s been solid in the net, even on Saturday evening in Soldier Field. The snow and bad visibility didn’t derail him, allowing only one goal for the Penguins.

 

This rivalry is underrated, but the games between these two teams are always intense, skilled and fast. This is their second to last game against each other in the regular season.

 

Game time is 8.00 p.m. ET and can be seen live on CSN-CH, RDS, and ALT.

 

Follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks on Twitter, and you can find me at @hockeyfied.