Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.
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Five Things to Watch:
1. New lines! (Again).
The Blackhawks reunited Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the top line Tuesday against San Jose, but it was short-lived. Joel Quenneville juggled the lines in the third period, and is going with some new ones again tonight. Nick Schmaltz is paired up with Toews and Richard Panik on the first line, followed by Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on the second. Hossa was moved to the third line with Marcus Kruger and Dennis Rasmussen, while Tanner Kero centered the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Ryan Hartman at Wednesday's practice to round out the bottom six. Let's see how long these last.
2. New power play units, too.
The Blackhawks have scored only one power play goal in their last eight games, and are searching for more consistency in that area. So both units were spruced up. Gustav Forsling was manning the point on the first unit with four forwards that included Kane, Panik, Schmaltz and Toews. Brian Campbell and Brent Seabrook anchored the point on the second unit with Anisimov, Hossa and Panarin up front. It should be noted, however, that Duncan Keith did not practice Wednesday. He'll likely take Forsling's spot on the first unit, unless Quenneville decides to take out the fourth forward.
3. Capitalize on special teams.
The Blackhawks have struggled on special teams as of late, going 1-for-20 (5 percent) on the power play in their last eight games and 14-for-18 (77.8 percent) on the penalty kill in their past seven, allowing a goal in four of those contests. The good news is, the Coyotes are a bottom-five team in both special teams categories with a 15.2 power-play percentage and 77.2 penalty kill percentage.
4. Will Artemi Panarin break out of his slump?
The Russian sniper hasn't scored a goal in eight straight games, and has registered only two assists during that span. He's slipped to 20th in the league in scoring with 44 points. The Blackhawks are 3-5-0 since his drought.
5. Play your game.
The Coyotes rank third in the league with 1,335 hits, and will look to knock the Blackhawks off their game. The Blackhawks like to play a puck possession style of hockey, but they've been in the middle of the pack in that area this season. Arizona ranks dead last in possession numbers, and allow the most shots per game at 33.5.
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