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NHL on NBCSN: Penguins host Blackhawks in battle of conference powers

Mar 30, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Brent Seabrook, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Chicago Blackhawks at CONSOL Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

When we last saw the Blackhawks and Penguins facing each other, it was outdoors at Soldier Field in Chicago and the Blackhawks cruised to a 5-1 victory.

This time around, they take it indoors in Pittsburgh and both teams are looking to snap out of the doldrums of having playoff spots already locked up. The Penguins are close to locking down the top spot in the Metropolitan Division but just getting wins lately has been tricky.

The Pens are winless in six of the past nine games but are coming off a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. Chris Kunitz has scored in each of the past two games to be the spark, but the Pens will close out the regular season without Evgeni Malkin. At the least, Sidney Crosby is still doing his thing and looking like the NHL MVP in the process.

Crosby has points in three straight games and has a 16 point lead in scoring on on Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf with 97 points. People have wondered the past few seasons what it would be like to see a fully healthy Crosby and the answer is it’s dynamic.

The Blackhawks head into the game on Sunday night having split the past eight games going 4-3-1 in the process. Chicago is locked into either second or third place behind St. Louis in the Central Division and destined to face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

What Chicago has to focus on is getting home ice in the first round and that means winning games more consistently. While they’re without Patrick Kane for the time being, rookie Teuvo Teravainen was a late-coming arrival on the scene to fill the void.

Having Jonathan Toews to lead the way helps make losing Kane a little easier. Since the Olympics he’s been dynamite with nine goals and 13 points in 15 games.

Oddly enough, however, Chicago’s offense has been a bit helter-skelter of late. In the past five games, they’ve been shut out twice but have 10 goals in the other three games. After losing two in row, including a 5-3 decision to the Ottawa Senators, the Blackhawks could stand to get their consistency back.

  1. hockeyornothing - Mar 30, 2014 at 10:43 AM


  2. blomfeld - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:29 PM


    “but just getting wins lately has been tricky” …

    “The Pens are winless in six of the past nine games” …

    “Oddly enough, however, Chicago’s offense has been a bit helter-skelter of late” …

    “Blackhawks head into the game on Sunday night having split the past eight games going 4-3-1” …

    Hey Yerdon, that’s hardly the stuff of a ‘conference power’ eh ? … I mean ‘seriously’ man ? Anyway, we know you probably wrote this article in jest and that’s ‘cool’ with us … good times ! :)

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      ‘You’ve’ become ‘quite’ the little ‘hater’ ‘troll’ ‘blom’

      ‘Sad’ to see you ‘still’ have no ‘life’

      ‘Enjoy’ what’s ‘left’ of the ‘Queens’ forgettable ‘season’

      ‘Lucky’ for you the ‘Queens’ won’t last long enough in the ‘playoffs’ to be ‘schooled’ (again) by the SC CHAMPION CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

      I’ve got dibs a great spot to watch the 2014 Hawks SC celebration parade – this time I won’t even need the sunscreen!

      • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:43 AM


        Listen Blackhawkjunk … back in the 70’s some puke like you ‘meets fist, sheds blood and then becomes ‘one’ with the pavement’ … simple as that. Yet here we are in 2014 and I’m obliged to engage some suck-hole like you via electronic media … what a joke eh ?

        Nonetheless pal, the bottom line is that ‘all’ teams sputter at some point during a 6 month long 82 x game season … it’s the law of averages. Heck, even we Kings recently went on an 8 x game loser streak. However what truly defines winners from losers is ‘timing’ and in that regard you Blackhawkjunk are now sputtering at the absolute wrong time. When you go into a fight, you must always do so driven by rage and conviction … anything less equals the shedding of blood and becoming ‘one’ with the pavement. And in that context I would submit to you that Chicago is now getting cold feet, while we Kings are starting to become ‘intoxicated’ by the smell of ‘supreme victory’ yet again !

        GO KINGS GO !!! …. TOMORROW IS OURS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      I usually don’t interject between commenters; however, it was semi-requested once before; so, I offer the following:

      “When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
      Peace of mind is waiting there
      And the time will come when you see we’re all one
      And life flows on within you and without you”

      Within You Without You ~~ The Beatles

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Pat’s back! More Beatles! Now where’s muckle?

  3. florida76 - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Can’t place too much emphasis on that outdoor game, the Pens have been playing shorthanded for much of the season. Would love to see another Pens-Hawks Cup Final, last time, Pittsburgh destroyed Chicago.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Odds are 2/1 you weren’t even alive when Pit/Chi last met in the finals

  4. sprtsfan1 - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Yeah Blom, what’s with the hate for the Hawks? That kind of trolling is usually saved for people whose team haven’t ever won a cup and are full of envy. Your Kings won the cup not long ago. You still sore over the WCC whooping the Hawks gave you last year?

    • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      FU Sprtsfan1 ! … and ‘eat it’ while you’re at it …

  5. prd797 - Mar 30, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Though more accurate, ‘Battle of Conference Powers Who Haven’t Been Great in Recent Weeks’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Would be great to see both teams show up and put on a show tonight.

  6. sprtsfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Haha! Yeah Blom, I’m sure you’d be singing the same tune had your Kings won the cup last year. Looks like I may have struck a nerve or two which was not my intention. I’m just curious to know where your recent hatred for the hawks came from.

    • blomfeld - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      I hardly ‘hate’ the Blackhawks pal … one of the coolest teams in the league in fact … I was pulling for them big time last year against the Bruins …

  7. sprtsfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Atta boy, I have no problem with you or your Kings. I love all the Sutter boys. Classic hockey family.

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