The surging Chicago Blackhawks are hoping to keep their momentum going as they take on the Buffalo Sabres at the United Center on Sunday night.
The Blackhawks, winners of four of their last five games, have seemingly found the rhythm that had eluded them earlier in the season, reeling off impressive wins over the Maple Leafs, Predators, and Golden Knights in the last week.
Now, the Blackhawks are returning home to the United Center for a three game homestand against teams from the Eastern Conference, and they’ll be looking to make hay in their only contest against the Sabres in Chicago this season.
The Sabres have come crashing back down to Earth since starting the season 8-1-1, losing six consecutive games before beating the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. They are still in fourth place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division, and have one of the league’s most exciting young players in Jack Eichel.
Eichel, the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, leads the Sabres in goals with 12 and has 11 assists on the season, and he’s racked up nine power play points in the Sabres’ first 19 games of the regular season.
The Blackhawks will hope to get some strong defensive play out of their team, something they’ve gotten in fits and starts this season. Calvin de Haan has been a steadying influence on the blue line, and the return of Connor Murphy to the lineup could also help the Blackhawks to get things in order defensively.
The Blackhawks have been able to outscore any mistakes in recent games, with a resurgent Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome helping to lead the way. Kane is currently on an eight game point streak, scoring seven goals and dishing out nine assists over that period.
Strome struggled badly to open the season but has since come on strong, with a goal and eight assists in his last five games.
The Blackhawks will have Corey Crawford in net for the second half of the back-to-back set, and they’ll be hoping he can continue his strong play of late. After allowing four goals in three consecutive games, Crawford has rebounded with a trio of strong efforts, including wins over the Canucks and Golden Knights and a 29-save effort in a shootout loss to the Penguins.
Puck drop between the Blackhawks and Sabres is set for 6 p.m., and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.