PENGUINS vs BLACK HAWKS PREVIEW
CHICAGO at PITTSBURGH
When and where — 7:30 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh
TV — NBC Sports
Radio — WQMU-FM 92.5
Records — Penguins 47-22-5 (99 points, first place Metropolitan Division), Blackhawks 42-18-15 (99 points, third place Central Division)
Leading scorers — Penguins: Sidney Crosby (34 goals, 63 assists, 97 points), Chris Kunitz (34 goals); Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp (31 goals, 72 points), Duncan Keith (51 assists)
Season series — 1-0 Chicago
Last meeting — The Blackhawks routed the Penguins, 5-1, in an NHL Stadium Series game at Chicago’s Soldier Field on March 1. Jonathan Toews had two goals and an assist, and Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell also scored for the Blackhawks. James Neal scored Pittsburgh’s goal. Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win.
Last time out — The Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win at Columbus on Friday. Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett scored for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 of 36 shots. … Chicago dropped its second of back-to-back road games, falling, 5-3, at Ottawa on Friday after falling in a 3-0 hole. Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook ended up scoring for the Blackhawks. Antti Raanta stopped 24 of 29 shots.
Notes — The Penguins clinched a playoff spot with Friday’s win at Columbus. Pittsburgh 7-7-2 since the Olympic break and has lost six of its last nine. … Beau Bennett, who hadn’t played since November due to a wrist injury, returned to the lineup Friday and scored his second goal of the season. … Chris Kunitz has goals in back-to-back games. … Sidney Crosby leads the league in scoring, with a 17-point lead over Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf, and in assists, with two more than San Jose’s Joe Thornton. Crosby and Kunitz are tied for fifth in the league in goals. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (35-17-4, .917 save percentage) is tied for third in the league in wins and second in shutouts (5). … Center Marcel Goc suffered an ankle injury on Thursday. He’ll be out the rest of the regular season and possibly into the playoffs. Another center, Evgeni Malkin, remains out with a foot injury.
About the Blackhawks — Chicago lost the first two games of its three-game road trip, getting outscored a combined 8-3 by Boston and Ottawa on Thursday and Friday. The Blackhawks are 2-3 since forwards Patrick Kane (lower body) and Bryan Bickell (upper body) left the lineup with injuries in a March 19 win over St. Louis. … Jonathan Toews has had at least one point in 10 of 15 games since the Olympic break, with nine goals and four assists. … Defenseman Duncan Keith is fifth in the league in assists, with 12 fewer than the leader, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. … Goaltender Corey Crawford is 29-14-10 with a .918 save percentage. Antti Raanta is 12-4-4 with a .901 save percentage. … Defenseman Michal Roszival (lower body), a former Penguin, is also out.
Next — The Penguins play host to Carolina on Tuesday.