Dec 20, 2011, 7:30 AM EST
The Blackhawks come into tonight’s game in Pittsburgh against the Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET) riding high on a five-game winning streak and winner of seven of their last eight. The main man behind Chicago’s success? None other than goalie Ray Emery.
Emery has won all five games in their latest streak and while taking the starting job away from Corey Crawford seemed to be a long shot when the season began, Emery’s played so well he’s relegated Crawford to the bench. Not bad work for a guy a lot of people thought were washed up.
Helping make life easier for Emery of late has been Patrick Sharp who’s been tearing things up so much he’s vaulted into the goal scoring race with 17, three behind Steve Stamkos. His 35 points put him one behind Marian Hossa for the team lead. Oh yeah, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane aren’t half bad either.
If there’s someone to put an end to Chicago’s winning ways, it’s Evgeni Malkin. Malkin was one of the NHL’s stars of the week after blowing up huge against Buffalo over the weekend. Malkin is just three points off the NHL scoring lead that sees Phil Kessel and Claude Giroux on top of things. Having James Neal to feed passes to helps. Expect to see Marc-Andre Fleury get the call in goal tonight for Pittsburgh.
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