Winnipeg at Chicago
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago Blackhawks host the Winnipeg Jets in a Central Division matchup Sunday, and both teams are dealing with injuries to top performers. The Blackhawks lost 3-1 Saturday at Philadelphia, hours after goaltender Corey Crawford underwent an appendectomy, while the Jets upended St. Louis 3-2 in overtime Saturday night at St. Louis while missing center Mark Scheifele due to a lower-body injury.
Crawford – who is expected to miss at least two weeks – has been outstanding at home, going 7-1-2 with a 1.88 goals against average. Scott Darling started for Crawford and made 27 saves in Saturday’s loss, as Chicago could not hold an early lead from Artemi Panarin’s goal while falling to 3-3-1 in its past seven games. Scheifele is questionable for Sunday’s game and his absence leaves a big hole in Winnipeg’s top line, considering he ranks among the league leaders with 13 goals and 26 points. The Jets deployed Bryan Little in the middle of the top line in place of Scheifele and it paid off in overtime, Little scored the game winner 17 seconds into extra time as the Jets improved to 3-1-0 in their past four contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Winnipeg), CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE JETS (12-13-2): Little has settled in quickly after returning from a knee injury, recording a goal and an assist Saturday in just his third game back in the lineup. Rookie forward Patrik Laine is tied for the NHL lead in goals with 16, recording one to go along with an assist Saturday, and has scored four times in his past three games. Winnipeg’s victory Saturday snapped a six-game road losing streak (0-5-1).
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (16-7-3): Chicago has been outstanding at home - earning points in 12 consecutive games, going 10-0-2 after an opening-night loss to St. Louis. Panarin has recorded two goals and two assists across his past six games, while Artem Anisimov – who assisted on Panarin’s marker – has points in four of his past six games (two goals, two assists). Darling is 4-1-1 and has surrendered three or more goals in five of his six starts this season.
1. Chicago has scored three or more goals in six of its past eight home games.
2. Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews did not play for the fifth consecutive game Saturday with a back injury, but could come off injured reserve in time for Sunday’s contest.
3. Winnipeg likely will start G Connor Hellebuyck Sunday, who shut out the Blackhawks by turning away 27 shots in a 4-0 home victory Nov. 15.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Jets 2
Stats and Records