After snapping their losing streak on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks are hoping to end their five-game road trip on a winning note as they take on the Winnipeg Jets Sunday evening.
The game is the Blackhawks’ second against the Jets in a seven-day span, with Winnipeg taking the last contest 5-2.
The Line (courtesy of Westgate Superbook)
O/U – 6.5 goals
The Blackhawks are looking for a measure of revenge against Winnipeg after dropping the last contest between the clubs. In that game the Blackhawks had jumped out to an early lead, but the Jets scored five unanswered goals and ultimately won the game with a pair of empty-net tallies in the closing minutes.
In addition to the revenge factor, the Blackhawks are looking to gain ground in the Western Conference playoff race, as they trail Winnipeg by three points in the hunt for a wild card spot. The Blackhawks also have a game in hand on the Jets, meaning that they could climb within striking distance of their Central Division rival and give themselves an opportunity to jump ahead in the standings if they can capture the additional game remaining on their schedule.
Continuing his strong form this season, Patrick Kane has been on a tear during the team’s last five games, with a goal and six assists in those contests. In 58 games, Kane has 26 goals and 46 assists for the Blackhawks, putting him within reach of reaching the 100-point plateau for the third time in his NHL career.
Duncan Keith is currently stuck on 99 career goals and 499 career assists for the Blackhawks, meaning that his next tally in each category will put him at a unique milestone in the history of the organization.
The problem? Keith has been stuck on both numbers for the last five games, as he’s been held off the scoresheet in five straight contests. In fact, Keith hasn’t scored a goal in over three months, with his last tally coming Nov. 5, and he has just three assists in his last 13 games overall.
The Playoff Hunt:
Entering the final game of their longest road trip of the season, the Blackhawks currently sit six points out of a playoff spot, but they do have three games in hand on the Arizona Coyotes. The Blackhawks also trail the Calgary Flames by six points and have two games in hand.
The key for the Blackhawks will be getting two points against the Jets Sunday, as Winnipeg is one of four teams standing between Chicago and a playoff berth. The Jets are three points ahead of Chicago, but the Blackhawks also have a game in hand on their Central Division rival.