NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Boston 1 1 2 4
Chicago 1 1 0 2
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST22:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 1, 2019
Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, Indiana  Attendance: 76,126

Blackhawks, Bruins set for Winter Classic at Notre Dame

Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks

  1. The Blackhawks defeated the Avalanche, 3-2, on Saturday and have won five of their last six after going 2-9-1 in the previous 12. They've scored five power-play goals in their last three games and finished December with a 20.4 power-play percentage after converting 9.4 percent of power plays in November, the third-largest increase in the NHL.
  2. Boston won in Buffalo, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday and have scored three or fewer goals in 18 of their 21 road games this season. They are averaging 3.56 goals per game at home but just 2.14 on the road -- the largest difference in the NHL.
  3. The Blackhawks and Bruins will meet in the 2019 Winter Classic, having split each of their last eight meetings. The Blackhawks have made three prior appearances in the Winter Classic, most of any team but are 0-3; the Bruins are 1-1 in Winter Classic games, losing in 2016 but winning in 2010.
  4. Patrick Kane scored two goals and added an assist in the win over Colorado, his second straight three-point game and seventh straight with a point. Kane has 50 points (22g, 28a) through 40 games this season, becoming the fastest Chicago skater to reach that mark since he did so in 35 games in 2015-16.
  5. Alex DeBrincat lit the lamp against the Avalanche, his fourth goal in five games. He has 17 points (9g, 8a) in 19 games since American Thanksgiving (November 22) after tallying just five (2g, 3a) in his previous 15 games.
  6. Patrice Bergeron has 20 points (8g, 12a) in 16 career games against the Blackhawks, with seven of the goals coming in the last seven games. He has six career multi-point games against Chicago, including three in the last five seasons.

The Chicago Blackhawks have dug themselves a deep hole when it comes to playoff positioning, but they hope there is still time to make a move.

The way the Blackhawks have played of late sure hasn't hurt.

The Blackhawks will enter Tuesday's Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins having won five of their last six games. Chicago -- whose struggles cost coach Joel Quenneville his job earlier this year -- will start the new year against the Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium looking to continue its recent surge. Patrick Kane's overtime winner on Saturday lifted Chicago to its latest victory in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Now, the Blackhawks hope to use Tuesday's game as a springboard to what they hope is a productive second half of the season.

"We've done a good job of staying in the moment the last few weeks," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters on Monday. "Obviously, we went through a really tough stretch results-wise, but one thing I've been really impressed with our group is that they didn't quit. They just kept playing. The attitude was great throughout as good as you could expect but even within the games.

"We'd fall behind 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, which no one wants to be in that situation, but most nights, we battled back and the commitment and work ethic and energy and positivity has been really great. That says a lot about the group and that's part of why we've been able not only to play better lately but get some more results and that gives us some positive energy coming into this event and it's a lot easier to enjoy something like this when we come in with some wins."

Cam Ward will start in goal for Chicago as the Blackhawks continue to play without injured starter Corey Crawford.

The Bruins, meanwhile, enter Tuesday's game having won six of their past 10 games and are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Boston's Brad Marchand will likely be a game-day decision as to whether he plays against the Blackhawks after he missed Saturday's game with an upper-body injury. But Marchand was a full participant in Monday's practice in South Bend, Ind., and said he hopes he can play on Tuesday.

Asked how important it was that he play in the annual outdoor game, Marchand turned to sarcasm.

"It's so important that I faked that I was hurt last game," Marchand joked with reporters on Monday, according to the Boston Herald. "Pretty important."

Although it's just another game on the schedule, Marchand said players don't treat the Winter Classic that way.

"It's an event," Marchand said, according to the Herald. "At the end of the day, it's just another game in the regular season, but I think it's the event, the experience of the whole thing. . . . It's the whole experience that you miss out on. At the end of the day, it is just two points, but it's a lot more than that for family and friends."

Updated December 31, 2018

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