Blackhawks

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks continue Circus Trip in Calgary tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks continue Circus Trip in Calgary tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Calgary Flames 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. More line shuffling?

Vinnie Hinostroza has been cleared to play after suffering an upper-body injury in Tuesday's contest against Winnipeg, but he will be out of the lineup tonight as he gets his legs back from under him. Richard Panik will take Hinostroza's spot on the top line with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and will look to provide a spark up front after the Blackhawks were shut out for the first time all season. Ryan Hartman, who was a healthy scratch Tuesday, will skate on the third line with Dennis Rasmussen and Marcus Kruger while Andrew Desjardins, Nick Schmaltz and Jordin Tootoo will make up the fourth line.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

As Insider Tracey Myers noted Thursday, the Blackhawks have scored only two power-play goals on 24 opportunities over their last seven games. The Flames may be able to help them bump up that percentage with their penalty kill ranking second-to-last in the league at 75 percent. The Flames also own the second-worst power play percentage at 9.7, and have scored just two goals on the man advantage in their last 10 games (29 opportunities). Now's a good chance to get back to the basics.

3. Corey Crawford aims to bounce back.

After allowing only 10 even-strength goals through his first 13 games, Crawford gave up four in two-plus periods against Winnipeg on Thursday. (Note: He's actually human). It was bound to happen, but it's all about how you respond. Crawford has consistently shown in the past he's great at bouncing back from a tough outing.

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4. No Johnny Gaudreau.

Gaudreau underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured finger and will miss approximately six weeks because of it. He has had a tough start to the season, putting up 11 points in 17 games, but it's still a significant blow to a Flames team looking to pick themselves up off the floor. Matthew Tkachuk will be relied upon to take on a larger role, and he scored a goal in a 2-1 overtime win over Arizona on Wednesday.

5. Rebounding from a loss.

The Blackhawks are 4-1-0 following a loss this season, with that lone loss coming in the second game of the year. They rarely come out flat two games in a row and don't lose consecutive times often, so expect a better all-around effort tonight.

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

Another night and another awful showing by the Blackhawks team defense, and this time, Robin Lehner let the team hear about it. Pat Boyle, Adam Burish and Scott King discuss the Blackhawks' ugly loss to the Coyotes and whether there should be some more line mixing happening soon. Plus, head athletic trainer Mike Gapski took part in his 2500th game with the Blackhawks and he sat down with Pat Foley 1-on-1 to re-live his 33 years with the organization.

1:13 - The odd-man rushes are piling up against this defense

5:54 - Is the power play getting going kinda maybe a little bit?

7:43 - Should Jeremy Colliton mix up the lines once again?

9:20 - The Kirby Dach playing-time dilemma

13:45 - Celebrating Mike Gapski's 2500 games with the Blackhawks

17:00 - Pat Foley's 1-on-1 interview with Mike Gapski

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

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USA Today

4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

The Blackhawks fell 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, giving them their third straight loss. Here are four takeaways:

Ex-Hawks Haunting

Former Blackhawks forward and Bartlett, Illinois native Vinnie Hinostroza helped dig the Hawks a three-goal hole to climb out of in the first period. Hinostroza picked up secondary assists on goals from Michael Grabner (2:56), Clayton Keller (5:03) and Brad Richardson (15:04) in the opening frame. 

Another former Hawk, Nick Schmaltz got past Patrick Kane and scored off a faceoff in Chicago's zone at 8:25 of the second period. 

D hurtin'

Calvin de Haan, one of the Hawks' more reliable defensemen this season, left the first period of Thursday's 5-1 loss against the Golden Knights in Vegas with a right shoulder injury. He could miss a decent amount of time as he had surgery on the same shoulder in the offseason, which sidelined him for several months. 

Chicago has given up 10 goals since de Haan left the lineup. His injury came with two-time Norris trophy-winning defenseman Duncan Keith (groin) not on the current three-game road trip which wraps up in St. Louis on Saturday. 

A positive for the Hawks' defense tonight was Dennis Gilbert getting his first NHL point by assisting on Jonathan Toews' second period goal, which came off a Dominik Kubalik rebound. 

Olli Maatta was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing the last four games with flu-like symptoms. Maatta had a +/- rating of 0 and recorded three shots. 

Top players on scoresheet

Another positive was The Captain, Kubalik, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat all finding the scoresheet. Strome scored at 12:58 of the third period on a power play, giving the Hawks their fifth straight game with a power-play goal. Kubalik got an assist on Toews' goal and DeBrincat has three goals and an assist in his past four games.

If the defense can find a way to tighten up a bit, the Blackhawks will be able to ride two very capable goalies and their top two lines, which are gaining some confidence. 

2,500 for 'Gapper

Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski worked his 2,500th game with the Blackhawks Thursday. Gapski is the longest tenured trainer in the NHL. 

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Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.