At the end of the regular season, the Blackhawks face the leading Blues

The Blackhawks (44-19-15) host the St Louis Blues (52-18-7) on the second leg of a back-to-back for the Blues that saw them lose 4-0 against the Colorado Avalanche. Both Hawks and Blues have secured their spots in the playoffs, with the Blues leading the West in points; they’re second in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins. Last time these two teams faced against each other, the Blackhawks came out on top in a 4-0 shutout victory.

 

But since then, Chicago has lost Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of them with slight injuries and being rested until the playoffs. The Blackhawks have faced a few losses since clinching their playoffs berth, but won against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, with the game-winning-goal scored by Ben Smith 3.4 seconds before the end of regulation.

 

The Blues are missing Alexander Steen, who missed Saturday’s game and will probably also miss Sunday’s. At this stage of the regular season, however, teams with a secured playoffs spot can afford resting some of their players.

 

In goal, Ryan Miller (2.01 GAA, .920 SV%) having played for the Blues on Saturday, we can expect Brian Elliott (1.93 GAA, .922 SV%) to be between the pipes, and Corey Crawford (2.23 GAA, .918 SV%) for the Blackhawks.

 

The Blues and Hawks have a solid rivalry that often results in fast-paced, intense games. There is a lot more on the line for the Blackhawks in this game than for the Blues, as all points count for the Hawks if they want home ice advantage during the first round of the playoffs. Due to the Blues’ loss on Saturday afternoon, the Colorado Avalanche are 3 points ahead of the Blackhawks in the standings.

 

Game time is 12.30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on NBC, TSN2.

 

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