Blackhawks

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks return home to face Panthers tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks return home to face Panthers tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Home sweet home.

The Blackhawks were outshot by a combined total of 65-44 in back-to-back nights against Anaheim and Los Angeles at the end of the Circus Trip, yet still came away with three of four points without their captain Jonathan Toews to close it out. After being away from Chicago for two weeks, the Blackhawks return to the United Center, where they are 8-1-2 compared to 6-5-1 away from it. Expect them to come out with some jump being back in front of their home crowd.

2. How will the Panthers respond to firing of head coach?

In a move that surprised the hockey community, the Panthers relieved Gerard Gallant of his duties Sunday and named general manager Tom Rowe the interim head coach in an effort to search for more consistency. Ongoing philosophical differences between the Panthers front office and Gallant led to the inevitable split, but it was handled poorly and it reportedly isn't sitting well with many of the players. Gallant was well-liked and well-respected, earning the trust of a young locker room from the start. The Panthers have won six of their last 10 games, are a top-10 possession team and remain only two points out of a playoff spot despite being plagued with injuries to their top guys. It was odd timing to part ways, and it will be interesting to see how players respond on the ice to the abrupt change in the midst of a six-game road trip.

3. Roberto Luongo returns to Chicago.

Remember him? Back when he was anchoring the crease for the Vancouver Canucks, Luongo became an easy target for Blackhawks fans after being on the losing end of two straight playoff series losses in 2009 and 2010. The downfall came during an elimination game when he allowed seven goals in Game 6 of the 2009 quarterfinals, prompting this comment about the goal song 'Chelsea Dagger': “I like that song — it’s catchy. I heard it seven times in one game.” All jokes aside, Luongo has actually been sensational against the Blackhawks in the regular season, owning a 16-13-4 career record with a 2.17 goals average, .930 save percentage and five shutouts. The playoffs? Not so much. But luckily for Luongo, it's only November and he always gets up for games in Chicago.

4. Can Vinnie Hinostroza stay hot?

In the last five games, the Blackhawks are controlling 60.2 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when Hinostroza is on the ice. It started in Vancouver, where he made the most of his 10:10 minutes of ice time, which was the fewest on the team, by scoring a goal and two assists in the comeback win. Since then, he hasn't been on the scoresheet, but he's been a possession machine and has done so in a larger role, playing on either the first or second line. With Jonathan Toews listed as questionable due to an upper-body injury, they could use another strong game from the Bartlett, Ill. native.

5. Marian Hossa vs. Jaromir Jagr.

A battle of the ageless wonders: In 3,318 career NHL games, including playoffs, Hossa (37) and Jagr (44) have combined for 1,392 goals (242 game-winners), 1,943 assists, 3,335 points, a plus-618 rating and five Stanley Cups. That's absurd. Appreciate watching these two future Hall of Famers on the same ice together.

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Blackhawks announce second round of roster cuts

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USA Today

Blackhawks announce second round of roster cuts

After making a first wave of roster cuts to pare their roster down from 55 to 49, the Blackhawks announced a more significant second round Saturday afternoon.

Per the team, forwards Dylan Sikura, Matthew Highmore, Brandon Hagel, Philipp Kurashev, Mikael Hakkarainen, Alexandre Fortin, Reese Johnson, MacKenzie Entwistle, defensemen Nicolas Beaudin, Joni Tuulola, Lucas Carlsson and goaltender Matt Tomkins have all been assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

The Blackhawks roster now consists of 33 players: 18 forwards, 11 defensemen and four goaltenders. 

The news comes just hours before the Blackhawks square off with the Bruins in the team's fourth game of the preseason Saturday night.

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.

Blackhawks announce lineup for fourth preseason game

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USA Today

Blackhawks announce lineup for fourth preseason game

The Blackhawks announced the full 16-man roster for the team's preseason matchup against the Bruins tonight, and there are a couple interesting decisions to note:

 

For the second straight game, Alex Nylander will play on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, a further indication that he has impressed head coach Jeremy Colliton with his recent play. In two preseason games with the Blackhawks, Nylander has tallied one goal and two assists. 

Additionally, newcomer Olli Maata and Brent Seabrook stick together as the second defensive pair. Maata and Seabrook have been consistently paired together since Training Camp Festival.

It was also announced that Robin Lehner will start in goal and play the entirety of the game, which will give the team and fans alike a look at what they can expect from the newly acquired goaltender.

You can watch the Blackhawks and Bruins square off tonight at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago+ or via the MyTeams app.

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.