The Blackhawks have already faced the Sharks and their old teammate Antti Niemi twice in San Jose this year -- and lost both times, the second in overtime.
Now, Niemi will be making his first appearance at the United Center since last year's Stanley Cup Finals. Niemi starred throughout the playoffs last year and was a big reason the Hawks won the Cup. How will Blackhawks fans welcome him back?
That probably doesn't matter as long as the Hawks win the game. That will be tougher with Jonathan Toews now out for up to two weeks with the shoulder injury suffered in Tuesday's game at St. Louis. Coach Joel Quenneville said, on the team website, that basically the rest of the guys were just going to have to bear down and contribute:
"We've had some guys in and out, so the consistency in our lineup hasn't been in place. At the same time, no matter who it is you've got to deal with it. We've lost some key guys and got through some pretty big games in a recent stretch here at home. So it's up to us to find ways."
Marty Turco will get his third straight start in goal, as Corey Crawford is still suffering the aftereffects of the flu. Fernando Pisani is likely to be scratched tonight, also with the flu.
Tonight's game begins at 7:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.