Both teams will be looking to get back into the win column after sustaining losses on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks lost in a shootout to the visiting Anaheim Ducks—and remain undefeated in regulation after 13 games this season.
The Sharks, who won their first seven games of the season, have gone winless in their last six games—placing them in the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.
It will be a very high-paced and offensive game—even though both teams pride themselves on good defense. Goaltending will be prime with both Ray Emery and Antti Niemi expected to get the starting nods.
The Blackhawks will be looking to extend their streak of not losing in regulation to 14 games—the NHL record is 16 games set by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006-2007 season.
Blackhawks' winger Andrew Shaw said that it takes a lot of character not to lose in regulation in the first 13 games of the season (via Chicago Sun-Times):
It just shows we've got character. We want to win, and we find ways to win. We play for each other. We stick up for each other, too. When you have good trust in your teammates, that's how you find out how to win.
The Sharks, meanwhile, haven't forgotten their 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks at the HP Pavilion on February 5th. Looking to break out of their losing ways, a date with the Blackhawks may be the perfect remedy to get back on track.
Who will win Friday night's game at the United Center?
"We've got to find a way to get over the hump and get one by some goaltenders and find some wins here," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said (via MercuryNews.com).
Both teams will be well rested after having the prior two days off to recover and practice.
This game is likely to come down to the wire—as so many Blackhawks' games have as of late—with it going either way.
Do I see the Blackhawks streak of no regulation losses coming to an end? No, but it is unclear if the 'Hawks will break out of their mini-homestand slump on Friday night.
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