(Sports Network) - After a slow start to the season, the Chicago Blackhawks appear to be getting on a roll. The defending Stanley Cup champions shoot for a third straight victory tonight in a matchup with the St. Louis Blues at United Center.
Chicago dropped its first two games of the season by one goal each, but have won two straight and three of four since. The Blackhawks skated in their fifth one-goal game of the season on Saturday, a 4-3 triumph over the Sabres that was their first in three home games this season.
Patrick Sharp notched his second straight two-goal game, while Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland also scored. Sharp and Hossa, who has at least one point in each of Chicago's first six games, are tied for the league lead with five goals each, while Hossa is also tied for first amongst NHL skaters with nine points.
"I think we just got better as the game went on," Sharp said. "It wasn't the start we were looking for ... but we picked up our level of play and battled back. We needed a win at home badly, and we just kept getting better as the game went on."
Marty Turco made 38 saves and is likely to be in net again tonight. He is 10-8-2 with a tie and 2.44 goals-against average in his career versus the Blues.
Sharp has seven goals and 14 assists in 32 games versus St. Louis, while Hossa has 10 goals and 17 points in 22 contests against the club.
The Blues, meanwhile, picked up wins in their first two home games to start the campaign, but have since dropped back-to-back contests on the road. They will try to salvage the finale of a three-game road trip this evening.
St. Louis was dealt a 3-2 shootout loss in Dallas on Saturday. Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald scored in regulation, but Ty Conklin was beat three times in the shootout after making 23 stops in the first 65 minutes.
Jaroslav Halak started St. Louis' first three games in net and should be the starter tonight. He has never before faced the Blackhawks.
T.J. Oshie has three assists and four points over St. Louis' first four games and has totaled eight helpers and nine points in 11 career games versus Chicago.
The Blackhawks won four of six versus the Blues last year and the two teams have split their last six at the United Center.