Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Arizona Coyotes at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• The Hawks are returning home following their annual Ice Show road trip. In a matinee game yesterday, Chicago defeated St. Louis 4-2 to close out their season-long 7-game trip at 4-3-0.
• Chicago will now begin a season-high 8-game home stand.
• In 2014, the Sochi Olympics followed the Ice Show road trip, and in 2013, the Hawks went 6-0-1 on the home stand following their Ice Show trip.
• CHI is looking for its first 3-gm win streak since it won 8 straight from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11.
• With 45 points, Arizona is 13th out of 14 teams in the Western Conference, 16 points out of a playoff spot. Only EDM (37 pts) and BUF (35 pts) have fewer points in the NHL this season (CAR also has 45).
• The Coyotes went 0-1-1 on their two-game home stand before this trip to Chicago.
• AZ scored just 2 goals in those 2 games, losing 2-1 (SO) to CAR on Thursday and 3-1 to DET on Saturday in its most recent game.
• This is the 2nd of 3 meetings between AZ and CHI. The Hawks won 6-1 on Jan. 20 in Chicago.
• Coyote defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored Arizona’s only goal in the loss to DET on Saturday to set a new career high with 16 goals this season (had 15 last season).
• The 23-year-old defenseman – AZ’s 1st round pick (6th overall) in 2009 – leads the team and all NHL defensemen in goals.
• In addition, Ekman-Larsson is tied for the NHL-lead with 7 game-winning goals (w/ 3 others). No defenseman has ever led the NHL in that category for a full season.
• Patrick Kane had 1 assist in yesterday’s win over STL. With 59 points, he is tied for the NHL lead with Tyler Seguin and Jakub Voracek.
• No American-born player has ever won the Art Ross Trophy (league’s top scorer) since the trophy was first awarded in 1948 (Kane is from Buffalo, NY).
• Only 1 American-born player has won the Hart Trophy (league MVP) – Billy Burch of Yonkers, NY in 1925 for the Hamilton Tigers. That season, Burch had 20G-7A in 27 games played.
• Stan Mikita in 1968-1969 was the last Blackhawk to lead the NHL in points for a season.
• Since the start of the 2012-2013 season, Kane has played AZ 6 times. The Hawks are 5-0-1 in those games, and Kane has produced a multi-point game in each of those meetings (4G-10A).
• Kane had 1 goal and 2 assists in the win vs. AZ in the first meeting this season.
• Mike Smith has started 36 of Arizona’s 53 games, and has a 9-22-5 record. At .319, Smith has the worst points percentage of any goalie in the league w/ a minimum of 25 starts.
• Smith has made 3 straight starts, and despite allowing just 4 total goals, has a 1-1-1 record in those games.
• Smith’s GAA has risen each season since coming to AZ in 2011-12 – the year AZ made it to the Western Conf. Final:
• Corey Crawford won his 2nd straight start yesterday, stopping 25 of 27 STL shots. He had not won 2 straight starts since Jan. 11, and will look to win 3 straight for the first time since Nov. 29.
• Antti Raanta started the first game vs. AZ on Jan. 20, stopping 35 of 36 shots in the 6-1 win.