Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to get back in the win column vs. Flames

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to get back in the win column vs. Flames

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Calgary Flames tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live featuring Pat Boyle, Brian Campbell and Eddie Olczyk.

1. Anisimov-Schmaltz-Kane reunited.

When Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane are on the ice together, they control 52.5 percent of the even-strength shot attempts. Their plus-6 goal differential during 5-on-5 play is the best among any line the Blackhawks have fielded this season. 

So Joel Quenneville is going back to that trio in an effort to rekindle some of that magic they had earlier in the year. But there's a twist. Schmaltz will be centering the line rather than Anisimov, who will move to left wing. It's the first time Anisimov is playing wing this season, and it will be interesting to see how that dynamic will work.

Perhaps a little less defensive responsibility and not taking faceoffs, which Anisimov struggles with, will help him focus on his offensive game and providing net-front presence.

2. Jeff Glass gets the nod.

Anton Forsberg was awarded the first start out of the All-Star break, and made a season-high 42 saves in the Blackhawks' 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. He earned the next start in Vancouver, but allowed four goals on 21 shots in a 4-2 loss — although it wasn't all his fault.

Glass will be back between the pipes for a chance at redemption in Calgary. In his second career NHL start, Glass registered 35 saves but the Blackhawks fell to the Flames 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 31.

Quenneville said he's going to keep riding the hot goaltender, so here's an opportunity for Glass to seize control of the net for the time being as the Blackhawks begin an important stretch of facing four straight teams also battling for a wild card spot in the Western Conference.

3. Johnny Gaudreau.

The Blackhawks are going to see a lot of No. 13 tonight, and they better be ready to contain him. Because the Blackhawks are on the road and don't have luxury of last line change, Flames coach Glen Gulutzan is surely going to exploit the matchups and get Gaudreau out there as much as possible whenever Jonathan Toews is on the bench.

Gaudreau has 15 goals and 43 assists for 58 points this season, which ranks eighth in the NHL. He's recorded at least a point in 11 of his past 13 games, and has six multi-point games over that span. Watch out for Johnny Hockey.

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.

Blackhawks deal Michal Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick


Blackhawks deal Michal Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.