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Chicago Blackhawks @ Pittsburgh Penguins 1/6/2019: lines, preview, how to watch

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Will the streak continue? The Pens look to make it nine in a row tonight.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Chicago Blackhawks (15-21-7, 37 points, 6th in Central Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (23-12-6; 52 points, tied-1st in Metropolitan Division)

When: 8:00pm

How to Watch: National game on NBCSN

Opponent Track: The teams played about a month ago on 12/12. Chicago was riding an eight game losing streak and then, disappointingly enough, beat the Pens to go off on a 5-3-1 run to close the season. 2019 hasn’t been kind though, as the ‘Hawks lost the Winter Classic 4-2 to Boston, then lost Friday night on the road in OT 3-2 to the Islanders.

Pens Refresh: Eight game winning streak for the boys in black and gold!

Season series: Last game of the season, as mentioned the game ended 6-3 last month after a pair of empty net goals. Bryan Rust scored all three of the Pens’ goals, ending his prolonged slump, so that was one good thing that happened in that game.

SBN Team Counterpart: Second City Hockey

New goalie on the scene

We’ll probably be seeing a new goalie whose playing pretty well. Per SCH:

the Hawks have gone 3-2-1 in their last six games. They are on a two-game slide after a tough loss outdoors to Bruins at the Winter Classic and an overtime loss against the New York Islanders. The losses have not been on the netminders, Collin Delia and Cam Ward. The Hawks offense have scored three or less in five of their last six for a goals-for per game rate of 2.83. The league average is 3.06, which is the highest it has been since 3.08 during the 2005-2006 NHL season. Delia, who has earned the starters job with stellar play in his first four starts of the season, will almost certainly get the nod in net. He has gone 3-0-1, has a 1.98 goals-against-average and a 0.952 save-percentage, and has stopped 30-plus shots in all four starts. During the 3-2 OT loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday, Delia stopped 47 shots out of 50.

Lines (from SCH preview)

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Dominik Kahun

Artem Anisimov - Dylan Strome - Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat - David Kampf - Brendan Perlini

Drake Caggiula - Marcus Kruger - Chris Kunitz

Duncan Keith / Erik Gustafsson

Gustav Forsling / Brent Seabrook

Carl Dahlstrom / Connor Murphy

—The 24-year old Caggiula would be making his Chicago debut. He does have 7 goals and 4 assists in 29 games with Edmonton this season.

—Kunitz hasn’t played since 12/23, and he was a healthy scratch the first time these two teams played, but looks to be in the lineup tonight, which is nice. Kunitz has no goals and only two assists in 23 games this season, he really looks to have hit the wall of age and sadly his career is going out with a bit of a whimper, but it was a great ride. And he’s 11 games off from 1,000 in his career.

And now for the Pens

2009 reunion night

Tonight the Pens celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Stanley Cup winning 2008-09 team. It’s a not un-coincidental choice being as Kunitz is in town.

Approximately 15 players from the 2009 team will be on hand for the 10th anniversary celebration. Four of them will be involved in the game that night - Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang for the Penguins and Kunitz for the Blackhawks.

A number of players and coaches from 2009 are still actively involved with NHL teams but have sent video messages to be played during the game.

All fans in attendance will receive a pack of trading cards, thanks to Upper Deck. The pack will feature nine players from the 2009 Cup team: Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Kunitz, Marc-Andre Fleury, Bill Guerin, Max Talbot, Sergei Gonchar and Jordan Staal.

There will be a special pre-game ceremony on the ice and a special pre-game video honoring the 2009 team.

If you’re attending the game, be sure to stop by the top of Section 110 Sunday to share your favorite memory of the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship. A special video booth will be set up and all Penguins fans are encouraged to share their stories and Penguins memories!

Lines (based off last Wednesday’s game)

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Dominik Simon - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist

Tanner Pearson - Derick Brassard - Phil Kessel

Zach Aston-Reese- Matt Cullen - Riley Sheahan

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Olli Maatta / Juuso Riikola

Marcus Pettersson / Jack Johnson

Expected scratches: Derek Grant (healthy), Jamie Oleksiak (healthy)

—Based on practice it looks like Riikola might be in and Oleksiak might be back out again.

Casey DeSmith was the first goalie off the ice and coach Mike Sullivan has confirmed he will be the starter tonight.

The Path Ahead

Tuesday is the final home game until 1/28 when Florida comes to town. Then the Pens hit the road for a five game western swing to hit up the three California teams plus Arizona and Vegas before the bye week begins.