The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to go into their holiday break on a positive note as they welcome the lowly New Jersey Devils to the United Center.
The Blackhawks have picked up two straight wins against Winnipeg and Colorado in recent days, and are hoping to run their winning streak to three in a row against a Devils team that has been struggling badly over their last 10 games.
In that stretch, the Devils are 2-7-1, and are averaging fewer that two goals per contest. The Devils currently sit in 15th place in the Eastern Conference, with just 27 points in 35 games so far this season.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have won three of their last four games after going through a four-game losing streak earlier in the month. They scored a 4-1 win over the Jets on Thursday and scored four straight unanswered goals in a 5-3 comeback win over the Avalanche on Saturday at the Pepsi Center.
A big force behind that recent surge has been Patrick Kane, who has five goals and four assists in his last four games, including a hat trick on Dec. 15 against the Wild. Kane has 20 goals and 26 assists on the season, and recently became the 11th player in NHL history to score 20 or more goals in each of his first 13 NHL seasons.
There are a few other minor storylines to follow in the game, including John Quenneville making his Blackhawks debut. Quenneville has spent the season in Rockford, but with the injury to Brandon Saad, Quenneville will be on the ice Monday as he takes on his former team.
Quenneville was acquired from the Devils in a summer trade that sent John Hayden to New Jersey.
Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist will also have some extra incentive to play well on Monday night, as he will face his brother Jesper for the first time at the NHL level. Jesper Boqvist was recently promoted to the Devils’ top forward line, and could see shifts against his brother as the two teams square off.
Puck drop between the Devils and Blackhawks is set for 7:30 p.m. at the United Center.