[8:00 PM] Blackhawks @ Blues

Who will WIN this matchup?

Chicago Blackhawks (20-8-4)

@ St. Louis Blues (17-10-4)


Starting Goalies:

Scott Darling (CHI): Confirmed

Jake Allen (STL): Confirmed


Vladimir Tarasenko, Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues look to continue their dominance at Scottrade Center on Saturday night when they host the Central Division-rival Chicago Blackhawks. Tarasenko scored a goal and set up two others to increase his point total to 10 (two goals, eight assists) in five contests on Thursday as St. Louis extended its second-longest home point streak in franchise history to 14 games (11-0-3) with a 5-2 victory over New Jersey.

Allen has figured it out at home, turning aside 24 shots on Thursday to improve to 11-0-2 in the Gateway City this season with a 1.81 goals-against average and .931 save percentage – although one of his two setbacks came in a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago on Nov. 9. Artemi Panarin scored in the extra session of that contest and added two power-play goals and an assist on Thursday as the Blackhawks won their third straight game and improved to 4-0-1 in their last five with a 5-4 triumph over the New York Islanders. The reigning Calder Trophy winner has collected three goals and as many assists in his last three games to share the team lead with 29 points.

Reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane is tied with Panarin for the team lead in points, although the former has just eight goals – a far cry from last season’s career-high total of 46. Kane’s numbers aren’t bad, mind you, as he has six assists in his last eight games overall and also set up a goal in the last meeting with St. Louis.

Struggling Nail Yakupov scored his first goal since Oct. 20 on Thursday and pleased St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock with sharp drives to the net and back-checking to see an increase in playing time. “He’s learning,” Hitchcock said of the 23-year-old Russian. Hitchcock likely will have another lineup decision on Saturday as Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) deemed himself ready to return following a weeklong absence, although fellow defenseman Brad Hunt has collected a point in four straight contests since being recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League.

St. Louis has thwarted 19 of its last 20 short-handed situations to improve its second-ranked penalty kill to 88.2 percent.


StreakSmarts Pick: St. Louis Blues

Confidence: 4/10

StreakSmarter Pick