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Pat Tomasulo and Steve Konroyd talk with Penguins Assistant and Downers Grove native Tony Granato.

Blackhawks Extra: Soldier Field

As we prepare for another winter storm, Soldier Field is preparing for outdoor hockey.

The rink is ready for the Blackhawks’ historic first game at the home of the Chicago Bears.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. as part the of the NHL’s “Stadium Series” that started this year.

Tickets have been sold out since they went on sale in December.

The stadium underwent a huge transformation in preparation for the game in conditions that have proved to be of all things, too cold, for an ice rink.

NHL regulations insist that the rink be kept at a cool 22 degrees on the surface and workers had to blanket the ice, literally, to warm up the rink and get it up to standard.

The game will be televised nationally on NBC and the Plain White T’s have been added to the festivities at Soldier Field.

Despite more cold and heavy snow in the forecast this weekend, the Chicago Blackhawks will battle the elements to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at Soldier Field.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. as part the of the NHL’s “Stadium Series” that started this year.

Tickets have been sold out since they went on sale in December.

The stadium underwent a huge transformation in preparation for the game in conditions that have proved to be of all things, too cold, for an ice rink.

NHL regulations insist that the rink be kept at a cool 22 degrees on the surface and workers had to blanket the ice, literally, to warm up the rink and get it up to standard.

The game will be televised nationally on NBC and the Plain White T’s have been added to the festivities at Soldier Field.

Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard will be honored before the game, as will Bears legends Dan Hampton and Richard Dent.

WGN News Writer, Judith Ruiz-Branch

stats_logo_400x225* The Rangers won the first matchup between these clubs this season, 3-2, in Chicago. New York will be seeking its first home win over the Blackhawks since November 1, 2010.

* The Blackhawks are averaging the second-most shots on goal in the NHL this season (33.3), while the Rangers own the third-highest mark (32.9).
* The Rangers have won five of their last six games overall and have split their last eight home contests. Chicago is 12-2-5 against Eastern Conference foes this season.
* Henrik Lundqvist is 10-2-0 with a 1.58 GAA in his last 12 starts and is riding a current five-game winning streak. Lundqvist has five wins in eight career starts against the Blackhawks.

* Derick Brassard has eight points (3g, 5a) during his current six-game point streak and has lit the lamp in three of his last four games.

* The Blackhawks have six players with at least 40 points this season – the most in hockey (Patrick Kane, 63; Patrick Sharp, 58; Jonathan Toews, 55; Marian Hossa, 50; Duncan Keith, 48; Brandon Saad, 40).

stats_logo_400x225* A victory tonight will give the Blackhawks their first four-game road winning against the Coyotes dating back to 1996-97. Chicago has outscored Phoenix 17-8 during their current three-game road win streak there.

* The Blackhawks are 3-0-2 on their current road-trip, including earning five of a possible six points at San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim. They are seeking three straight wins overall for the first time since December 8-11.

* Marian Hossa has 37 goals in the month of February since the 2006-07 season. The only current Western Conference player with more is Zach Parise with 38.

* Coyotes’ defenseman Keith Yandle is one of seven American-born players to lead his team in assists with 29. Overall, his assist total is tied for the sixth-most among all U.S. born players on the season (Patrick Kane leads with 36).

* Coyotes’ center Antoine Vermette is one of six players leading his team in goals and faceoff wins this season. Vermette has 21 goals; his career-high is 27, set while with the Blue Jackets in 2009-10.

* Since January 7, Phoenix has at least one power play goal in 12 games played; only Philadelphia has more during this time span with 13.

stats_logo_400x225* This will be the fifth game of Chicago’s six-game road trip to end the pre-Olympic period of the season. The Blackhawks are 2-1-1 in the first four games of the trip having scored at least four goals in three of the four games.

* After going 20-0-2 in its first 22 home games, Anaheim has gone 2-4-0 in its last six games at the Honda Center.

* The Ducks (85) and Blackhawks (82) have the two highest point totals in the NHL. This is the third and final regular-season meeting between Anaheim and Chicago. The first two games were at United Center in Chicago with the Ducks winning 3-2 in a shootout on December 6 and the Blackhawks winning 4-2 on January 17. The Ducks are 5-1-0 in the last six versus the Blackhawks.
* With two goals (and an assist) on Monday at Los Angeles, Patrick Kane now has 27 goals, just three shy of his career-high 30 in 2009-10 (27 is tied second most, also 27 in 2010-11).

* Ryan Getzlaf has already set a career high with 27 goals this season. Getzlaf’s previous high for goals was 25 in 2006-07 and 2008-09. Getzlaf has scored a goal in each of the two games versus Chicago this season.

* Jonas Hiller is 4-1-0 in his last five starts against Chicago with a 1.77 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Hiller has lost four of his last five starts (1-4-0) after winning 14 straight.

stats_logo_400x225* The Blackhawks have beaten Los Angeles twice this season, improving to 14-3-2 in the series since March 2009. And that doesn’t include a 4-1 series victory by Chicago in last spring’s Conference Finals.

* Chicago lost in a shootout at San Jose on Saturday, 2-1, and has now won only once over its past six games (1-2-3). The Blackhawks are 1-10 in overtime and shootout games since the beginning of December.

* The Kings have scored a grand total of three goals while going 1-5-0 over their past six games. It is the most consecutive games (six) the Kings have ever gone without scoring more than once in any of them.

* Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford has yet to lose in regulation to a Pacific Division opponent in 2013-14. He’s 7-0-4 with a 2.04 GAA and a .930 save percentage versus the division.

* Brandon Saad scored the Blackhawks’ only goal on Saturday, one game after he broke an 11-game drought with two goals on Wednesday. Twelve of his 18 goals this season have come away from home.

* Although Jonathan Quick has lost six of his last seven decisions, he hasn’t surrendered more than three goals in any of his last 17 starts. It’s the third-longest active streak in the NHL.

stats_logo_400x225* The Blackhawks lost, 5-4, in overtime to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome last night, and have now dropped four straight games for the first time in 2013-14. Chicago is 0-6 in overtime (non-shootout) games this season – worst of any team in the league.

* Vancouver lost, 4-2, at home to the Oilers on Monday, and is 3-3-2 in its last eight tilts at Rogers Arena overall (since December 30). The Canucks are 8-18-5 when scoring fewer than three goals this season (19-0-4 when scoring three or more).
* These clubs have split two games this season, each winning by a single tally on the other’s home ice. Dating to November 22, 2009, the Blackhawks and Canucks have played 16 times during the regular season, and each has skated off with eight wins.
* Marian Hossa netted his 22nd marker of the season last night, giving him eight goals in his last 12 games overall – tied for second most of any Western Conference skater since games of January 3. The Blackhawks are the only club in the league boasting three players with at least 20 goals in 2013-14 (Sharp – 27 and Kane – 25 are the others).
* Called up from Utica on Monday, Jordan Schroeder scored both of the Canucks’ goals in their loss to the Oilers two nights ago. Schroeder, who has zero points in two career skates against the Blackhawks, had just three markers in his first 34 games in the NHL.
* Chicago is 19-2-4 (.833) in the second of back-to-back games since the beginning of last season – easily the best mark in the NHL (Anaheim is second at 14-3-3).

* These teams have split the first two games of their season series, with each winning once on the other’s home ice. The Blackhawks are 16-4-1 versus Calgary since 2008-09.

* The Blackhawks have dropped three straight games for the third time this season. But they haven’t lost four in a row since a nine-game skid between 1/21/2012 and 2/14/2012.

stats_logo_400x225* The Flames overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period to defeat Nashville in a shootout on Friday, 5-4. While Calgary has won back-to-back games, the Flames have yet to string three victories in a row this season.

* Patrick Kane enters Tuesday’s game with a seven-game scoring streak versus Calgary, the longest among active skaters. He’s registered six goals and five assists over the seven games.

* Flames right wing David Jones ended a 17-game goal-scoring drought with a pair of goals in the third period on Friday. Eight of his 15 total points this season have come in the third period.

* With points in each of his past six games, Mark Giordano has become the first Flames defenseman with a six-game scoring streak since Robyn Regehr in 2009. The last Calgary defenseman with a seven-game streak was Adrian Aucoin earlier in 2009.

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