Hawks and Pens prepare to clash at Soldier Field
The Hawks have had a lot to be excited for this year, from an electrifying banner-raising opening night to sending ten athletes to the Olympics (bringing back six who medaled), and as Saturday night approaches, they’ll countine their season with one of the most anticipated games of the season-facing the Penguins in the final game of the NHL’s Stadium Series at Soldier Field.
For the Hawks, it’s an opportunity to come back from a lackluster effort against the Rangers on Thursday, managing only one goal against netminder Cam Talbot. For the Penguins, it’s a chance to redeem themselves from a disappointing shootout loss against Montreal on Thursday night.
But despite the 2 points on the line, Saturday’s game is far more significant than your average regular season game.
Chicago and Pittsburgh are two of the NHL’s top-tier teams, and have consistently played at a high level for the last several years. The marquee event of the night, however, will be finally seeing Jonathan Toews face off against Sidney Crosby, as the two superstars and faces of their franchises compete against each other for the first time in their NHL careers. They’ve been in the league together for seven years, but have never been on the ice against the other- whether due to injury, lockout, or other circumstance.
Both teams have played in outdoor games before, with the Hawks hosting the Winter Classic in 2009 against the Red Wings and the Penguins having played in two Winter Classics of their own, once against the Sabres and once against their division rival Capitals.
Who’s Hot: James Neal (4G, 4A) and Evgeni Malkin (3G, 5A) are both riding on 6 game point-streaks for the Pens....Duncan Keith currently sits fourth in the NHL with 45 assists, despite going pointless in last night's contest.
Injury Report: The Hawks are still injury free, with just Nikolai Khabibulin (surgery) on LTIR....The Penguins will be without Beau Bennett (wrist), Chris Connor (wrist), as well as Paul Martin (broken hand) who sustained the injury while playing for Team USA, and Kris Letang (stroke).
Game Info: 7:00 CT, NBC
Location: Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL