The Blackhawks open 2019 outdoors on a big stage New Year’s Day, battling the Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.
Chicago is riding high, having won two straight to close out 2018, and five of their last six. Their final game of December came on Saturday, when they beat Colorado 3-2 in overtime. Patrick Kane scored twice, including the winner, as the Blackhawks stayed hot.
Video: Jeremy Colliton on the Winter Classic
Kane leads the Blackhawks in scoring with 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points in 40 games this season. Jonathan Toews is second with 16 goals and 19 assists for a total of 35 points in 41 games. Alex DeBrincat is second on the team in goal scoring with 18 this year.
Between the pipes, Cam Ward is the confirmed starter for Chicago. He is 6-6-4 this season with a 3.90 goals-against average and .886 save percentage.
For the Bruins, they’ve won just one of their last three games, but are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over Buffalo on Saturday.
Boston’s leading scorer is David Pastrnak, who paces the team with 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points in 39 games. Brad Marchand is second on the team with 41 points (12G, 29A) this season.
Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask have split time between the pipes for the Bruins this season. Halak has the better numbers with a .928 save percentage in 21 starts.
This is the first of only two meetings this season between the Original Six clubs. They will face each other again in Boston on Feb. 12.
Last season, Chicago split their series with Boston (1-1-0).
Ward gets the start between the pipes for Chicago.
Video: Cam Ward on starting in the Winter Classic
The lines at practice on Monday were as follows:
The Blackhawks traded with Edmonton for Drake Caggiula and Jason Garrison on Sunday. Neither will be in the lineup for Chicago. Garrison was placed on waivers for purpose of assignment to Rockford, while Caggiula is working on his visa.
OPPONENT TO WATCH:
Marchand could return to the Bruins lineup after dealing with an upper-body injury.
That would be a huge boost to the club, as he has 41 points in 38 games this season. Known for his aggressive style that agitates opponents, Marchand can also beat teams by scoring. He has 238 goals in 640 career NHL games.