Blackhawks aim to continue positive run vs. Ducks (Nov 27, 2017)
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will go for their fourth win in five games when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night at the United Center.
Chicago (11-8-3) has regained its footing after an ugly stretch in which it won only four of 12 contests. The Blackhawks, who have scored 14 goals in their past four games, return home for the first time since Nov. 15.
"I think we're starting to settle in as a team," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We're starting to see what it takes for us to be a good team and what it's going to take to win games the rest of the season (with) how tight our conference and division (are)."
Meanwhile, Anaheim (10-9-4) hopes to snap a three-game losing streak and jump-start an offense that has scored four goals in its past three games. The San Jose Sharks are the only team in the Western Conference with fewer goals than the Ducks.
Injuries have piled up for Anaheim during the first two months of the season. Players out of the lineup include captain Ryan Getzlaf (facial surgery), Ryan Kesler (hip surgery), Patrick Eaves (illness) and Ondrej Kase (upper body). The latest player to go down is top scorer Rickard Rakell, who missed the Ducks' Saturday game because of an upper-body injury and is not expected to travel to Chicago.
Despite the injuries, the Ducks have competed. Anaheim is coming off a hard-luck, 2-1 loss in the shootout against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
"We know we've stretched our lineup to our bare bones here," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told the Los Angeles Times. "All you can ask is your players to give you what they did (Saturday night). They left it on the ice. They gave it everything they had."
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is expected to make his 19th start of the season. The 32-year-old Montreal native is 10-7-1 with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. In 21 career games against Anaheim, he is 12-6-2 with a 1.92 GAA and .930 save percentage.
The Ducks could turn to goaltender John Gibson after giving him the weekend off to rest. The 24-year-old is 7-8-1 with a 2.87 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He is 2-1-1 with a 1.50 GAA and a .953 save percentage in five career appearances against Chicago.
Veteran Anaheim netminder Ryan Miller also is a possibility to make his second straight start. Miller, 37, is 4-2-0 with a 1.63 GAA and a .950 save percentage in his first five appearances with the Ducks. In 11 career games against the Blackhawks, he is 5-6-0 with a 2.71 GAA and a .918 save percentage.
With Rakell out, the Ducks' leading scorer is right winger Corey Perry with 17 points (four goals, 13 assists). Defenseman Brandon Montour is next with 13 points (six goals, seven assists).
Right winger Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 22 games. Toews ranks second on the team with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists), including a three-point effort Saturday night.
The Monday game will be the first of three meetings this season between the clubs. The Blackhawks will host the Ducks on Feb. 15, and Chicago will travel west for the regular-season series finale on March 4.