Blackhawks and Habs meet in a battle of bruised giants

The Montreal Canadiens travel to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. This battle was shaping up to be a battle of two of the NHL’s best goaltenders, but Chicago’s Corey Crawford has suffered a lower body injury and will miss the next two-to-three weeks. Antti Raanta will start in his place. He boasts a .901 save percentage, but has only played in 28 career games. This comes as a blessing for Montreal, as they have only scored 8 goals in the past 5 games.

Both of these teams arrive at this game with a close margin between them and first place in their respective divisions. Montreal is within 1 point of Tampa Bay, who sits atop the Atlantic Division. However, this team has lost 4 of its last 5 games, including 2 losses to the Buffalo Sabres, who have the third-lowest point total in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the season, they looked like one of the NHL’s best teams, but have struggled to defend and have let up 17 goals in the past 5 games.

Chicago has been playing better as of late; they have won 6 of their last 7 games,including victories over the defending champion L.A. Kings and Western Conference contenders Anaheim and Calgary. This team sits 3 points behind St. Louis and Nashville, who are tied for the lead of the Central Division. Chicago has the best penalty-killing percentage in the NHL, killing 91.3% of their penalties this season.

That’s due to their 2nd best 2.0 goals against number. Also, thanks to the services of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, this team is the 8th best scoring offense in the NHL, scoring 3.0 goals per game.

According to ScoreBig, the average price for this game is $201.81. Blackhawks tickets from ScoreBig may not cost you quite that much, as you can get into this game for $104.00. There could be many reasons for the 14% decrease in price during the last 7 days.

Crawford’s injury could really hurt the Blackhawks defensively. He is one of the main reasons for their low goals-against numbers, as he is only allowing 1.87 goals per game. Also, ticket prices could be decreasing from the lackluster overall play of Montreal lately. The Montreal Canadiens went from going 8-1 to losing 4 of it’s last 5.

Both of these contenders are facing major adversity at this point of the season. This matchup is an opportunity for both teams to show that they can survive the body blows of an NHL season and keep on trucking. Both of these teams have the talent to be in the thick of things in May and June, so this should be an exciting matchup.