Chicago Blackhawks at Pittsburgh Penguins
When and Where: Saturday, Nov. 9, PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa., 7 p.m. EST.
The Chicago Blackhawks look to run their winning streak over the Pittsburgh Penguins to 11 games Saturday night as the teams face off in an interconference clash.
Since the NHL lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season, the Blackhawks (5-7-3) have owned this rivalry with a 14-2-2 record. That includes a run of seven straight regulation wins and 10 consecutive victories overall since a 4-1 defeat in Pittsburgh on March 30, 2014.
Burying what turned out to be the winner for his @NHLBlackhawks vs the Canucks Thursday, Patrick Kane now has more career game winning goals by age 30 (which he is until Nov 19) than all but 6 primary RW'ers on this star-laden list pic.twitter.com/WPqeq3oM7N— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) November 8, 2019
The Blackhawks scored 11 goals in the two wins last season and scored three unanswered goals to rally by the Penguins 5-3 in Pittsburgh in January in the most recent matchup. Jonathan Toews had two goals and three assists in the two wins last season, while Patrick Kane had four assists.
Kane has totaled four goals and 13 assists during the 10-game winning streak, while Toews has three goals and seven helpers.
Blackhawks try again to turn corner, build on victoryKane powered the Blackhawks to one of their more complete efforts of the season Thursday night in a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. He assisted on first-period goals by Alex DeBrincat and David Shaw before restoring a two-goal cushion with a power-play goal with 5:06 to play.
"We had a lot of good performances so certainly we would like to find a way to string two, three, four, five games together," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told the team's official website. "That's what we need to get some momentum going. But I think there were a lot of good efforts (Tuesday night) tonight and guys can have a positive feeling."
Corey Crawford made 36 saves, but Colliton has yet to commit him for a second straight start or turn to Robin Lehner. Crawford has struggled on the road in the early going, posting an 0-2-1 record and 4.08 goals-against average in three starts.
Lehner has a 2.61 GAA and .936 save percentage while going 1-2-0 in three starts and four appearances. He also stonewalled the Penguins backstopping the New York Islanders to a first-round playoff series last season, conceding just six goals on 136 shots in New York's four-game sweep.
Pens out to end 'Hawks hex, pick up fourth win in six gamesWhile the teams have met only once or twice each season during Chicago's spell of mastery, a constant theme in Pittsburgh's inability to win has been Sidney Crosby failing to find the back of the net versus the Blackhawks.
Crosby has gone seven games without a goal against Chicago and has just one assist in that stretch. His last goal came in a 3-2 overtime loss in January 2016, and Crosby owns a surprising minus-12 player rating while totaling three goals and four assists in 14 career matchups.
Crosby also enters this contest looking to end a funk, having been held off the scoresheet in Pittsburgh's last three games. The Penguins (9-6-1), though, have claimed three of a possible six points in those games after staging a third-period rally that propelled them to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Jared McCann, Bryan Rust, and Evgeni Malkin -- a line put together by coach Mike Sullivan for the final 20 minutes after shuffling his trios -- scored in a 7:10 span of the third period to erase a 3-0 deficit before Rust netted the winner 3:25 into the extra period.
"I give our players a lot of credit," Sullivan told the club's official website. "Their resilience, their stick-to-it-ivness to keep fighting and keep pushing in that third period is an indication of the kind of character we have in our room."
Crosby has not gone four consecutive games without a point since failing to net one in the first five contests of the 2015-16 season.
Matt Murray, who finished with 20 saves Thursday night, is expected to be between the pipes once more for Pittsburgh. He lost his only start to Chicago in November 2017 but also mopped up a 10-1 pummeling by the Blackhawks in that season-opener, yielding six goals on 31 shots.
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will not play due to a lower-body injury suffered in Thursday night's win, with Sullivan saying the veteran blue liner is "week-to-week."
The Blackhawks are:
- 1-6 in their last seven games as road underdogs.
- 2-12 in their last 14 games vs. Metropolitan Division teams.
- 0-6 in their last six games following a victory.
The Penguins are:
- 5-0 in their last five games vs. Central Division teams.
- 6-2 in their last eight games vs. Western Conference teams.
- 40-12 in their last 52 games as home favorites of -201 or better.