Carolina at Chicago
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Monday, March 2, 2015
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen and Antoine Vermette are in line to make their debuts with their new team as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. The Blackhawks acquired Timonen from Philadelphia for a pair of draft picks on Friday and added the coveted Vermette for Klas Dahlbeck and a first-round selection in the 2015 draft two days later. The soon-to-be 40-year-old Timonen hasn't played this season due to blood clots in both his leg and lungs while Vermette's exit from woe-begotten Arizona is expected to help cushion the blow of Chicago losing Patrick Kane (fractured clavicle).
"I think our mentality is the same as what management has shown the last couple of days, with the additions that we've seen," captain Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Sun-Times. "... We're excited about seeing two new faces in our locker room." Additions to the roster aside, the Blackhawks aren't helping their cause on the ice as they suffered their fourth loss in six contests (2-3-1) with a lackluster 4-0 setback to Tampa Bay on Friday. While Chicago still is in prime position for a postseason spot, Carolina will attempt to match a season-best four-game winning streak as it plays out the string.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (24-30-7): Carolina has liked what it has seen from Jay McClement, offering the 31-year-old a two-year contract extension worth $2.4 million on Sunday. "Jay has proven to be a valuable veteran leader for our club and it was important for us to keep him in Raleigh," general manager Ron Francis said. "He's one of the league's best faceoff men and has played a key role in what currently stands as the best penalty-killing unit in team history." McClement, who joined the Hurricanes as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, tallied twice in Saturday's 5-3 win over the New York Islanders and has scored three of his six goals in the last three contests.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (37-21-5): Vermette is expected to center the second line with Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad, a move that could shuffle promising rookie Teuvo Teravainen to the sideline. Timonen likely will be paired with fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook while both newcomers also will see time on the team's power play. "I got in (Saturday) night and I couldn't sleep, I was so excited," Timonen said.
1. Chicago G Corey Crawford stopped all 20 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over Florida on Thursday to snap a three-game skid.
2. The Hurricanes have recorded 10 power-play goals in their last 10 contests while the Blackhawks are just 2-for-22 with the man advantage in their last seven games.
3. Carolina G Cam Ward has won six of his last seven decisions and owns a 3-0-2 career mark with two shutouts and a 1.17 goals-against average versus Chicago.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Hurricanes 3
Stats and Records