NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
Heading into last night’s game against the Dallas Stars, the Pittsburgh Penguins had rattled off 65 consecutive wins when entering the third period with a lead and continue to climb onward.
“You give up a goal fairly early in the period, give them a chance to get back in it. When it’s 2-0, we’ve got to find a way to build on that lead when there’s chances there. That being said, up two goals going into the third, you’ve got to be able to lock it down.”
Pittsburgh’s loss combined with the Blue Jackets picking up point in Montreal means that the Pens find themselves in third in the Metropolitan Division.
Following tonight’s game, the Pens will play home games against the Lightning and Sabres before embarking on a five-game road trip that will see them travel to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver Calgary and Philadelphia.
There’s still a few hours before we hit the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline, so there’s still time for both Chicago and Pittsburgh to make deals.
The ‘Hawks have all but clinched a playoff spot. Now, they’re in a chase for the top spot in the Central Division. They currently trail Minnesota by five points (Wild have a game in hand). With Zach Parise and Jason Pominville out because of the mumps, it could be time for Chicago to make that push up the standings.
“A lot of teams are going to make pushes for the playoffs, and acquiring some last-minute additions or players they think will bolster their lineups is always a part of that,” captain Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I love our group right now. Everyone’s getting better individually, everybody’s contributing more, and it’s a lot of fun to see the way we’re playing right now. We know the ceiling is way higher, and we can keep getting better, too.”
If they’re going to pick up two points tonight, they’ll have to do it with backup goalie Scott Darling between the pipes, as Corey Crawford will miss his second consecutive game with an illness. Darling is coming off a 30-save performance in a 4-2 win over the Blues.