The Chicago Blackhawks will get to catch up with a couple of old friends on Tuesday night when they take on the Ottawa Senators in the first game of a three-game road trip.
One of those players is forward Anthony Duclair, who is leading the Senators with 21 goals so far this season. Duclair was allowed to leave the Blackhawks via restricted free agency after the 2017-18 season, but has found his groove in Canada’s capital city, as he is tied for 13th in the league in goals.
The Blackhawks will also meet up with former center Artem Anisimov, who was traded to Ottawa in an offseason swap that brought Zack Smith to Chicago. Anisimov has appeared in 27 games for the Senators, scoring eight goals and adding two assists in those games.
The Blackhawks are meeting the Senators during a downward turn for the club, as Ottawa has lost seven consecutive games, including a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
The one bright spot for Ottawa this season has been their record at the Canadian Tire Centre, where the team is 11-7-3 so far this season. Duclair has scored 13 of his 21 goals on home ice, while Jean-Gabriel Pageau has eight goals and eight assists in 21 Senators home games.
As for the Blackhawks, they are looking to hang on in the Western Conference wild card race, as Chicago sits seven points behind the Edmonton Oilers for the second wild card spot in the west.
The Blackhawks have had an up-and-down run as of late, following up a three-game winning streak in late December with a 2-3-0 record in their first five games of the 2020 calendar year.
Dominik Kubalik has been a big part of the Blackhawks’ offensive attack recently, scoring at least one goal in each of the team’s last four contests. He is currently tied for the NHL lead in goal scoring among rookies, and he has found a comfortable home on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews.
The captain has been on a good run of his own, with two goals and five assists in the Blackhawks’ last five games. He scored a goal and added a helper in Saturday’s win over the Anaheim Ducks, and he’ll look to keep that positive momentum going on the team’s road trip.
Their next two games offer them a great opportunity to gain some ground while playing Eastern Conference opponents, as they’ll face Senators and Canadiens squads that are not currently in the playoff hunt in the East. Their road trip will conclude on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are one point ahead of Florida for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Puck drop between the Senators and Blackhawks is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the game airing on NBC Sports Chicago.