Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) skates behind the goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at Scottrade Center. The Blues defeat the Blackhawks 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Preview

Tonight, a Lapierre-less St. Louis Blues will head to the Madhouse tonight to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Last season, the Blackhawks set a league record by going 24 games without a loss in regulation while they were on their journey that eventually led to the raising of Lord Stanley’s cup.

Unfortunately, this season didn’t quite start out the same.

Just two games into the season, and the Hawks are dealt their first regulation loss with a last minute goal by left wing Andrew Steen with just 22 seconds left on the clock. What team does Steen play for? The St. Louis Blues, that’s who.

You can bet when the doors to the United Center open up tonight, that the Blackhawks are going to be primed and ready to take back those important Divisional points that they lost to the Blues just last week.

The Blues suffered their first loss with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. The Blues will also have to contend with not having center Maxim Lapierre in their lineup tonight. Lapierre is currently suspended pending his in-person hearing in front of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety tomorrow afternoon. Even after that meeting is over, he is still facing the possibility of being suspended for an extended period of time.

Stat wise, these two teams are fairly evenly matched.

St. Louis holds the lead in Goals per game with 4.2 over Chicago’s 2.83; however, Chicago has significantly more Penalty Minutes per Game with 8.17 as opposed to 27.4 to the Blues. In their defense, though. I am pretty sure a bulk of those came during the Sharks game.

Chicago has an average of 34.17 Shots on Goal per game as opposed to St. Louis with 31.4. There is a one goal difference on the Power Play with the slight advantage to St. Louis (6-5).

Their Penalty Kill Numbers are almost identical. Chicago has a 72.2% on the PK, while St. Louis has 72%.

You may be hard pressed to find two teams that are as closely matched as these two are right now. However, all of that could change tonight as this battle plays out on the ice.

Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Network: FS-MW, CSN-CH

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks NHL St. Louis Blues

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