Blackhawks Vs. Blues Preview: Chicago Hosts Western Conference Leader

Mar 13, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) looks for the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Blackhawks (42-26-9, 93 pts) host the St. Louis Blues (48-20-9, 105 pts) on Thursday night.

The St. Louis Blues have clinched a playoff spot in the NHL's Western Conference bracket, but they still have work to do as they only lead the Vancouver Canucks by two points at the moment. Then again, the Blackhawks will have much more at stake when they host the Blues on Thursday night. Chicago has yet to secure a playoff spot, but are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and still boast a very respectable 26-8-5 record at the United Center.

St. Louis goaltender Brian Elliott has been spectacular this season, and he leads the NHL in goals allowed average (1.48), save percentage (94.3 percent) and shutouts (9), but Elliott is expected to sit against the Hawks. That doesn't make things much easier for Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and company, however. Jaroslav Halak has been nearly as good.

Game Time, Date: 7:30 p.m. CT, March 29, 2012

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL

TV: CSN-Chicago (HD)

For updates on the Chicago Blackhawks, visit SB Nation Chicago and also the Second City Hockey blog. For NHL news, analysis and opinion go the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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