Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to get back in win column against red-hot Jets

Charlie Roumeliotis
NBC Sports Chicago

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Anthony Duclair's Blackhawks debut?

In a move that could benefit both sides, the Blackhawks acquired Duclair from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Richard Panik, and Joel Quenneville said Wednesday after the game that they'll look to get him into the lineup right away.

Duclair, 22, has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season. There's high upside to the speedy, offensively-gifted winger, with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman saying Duclair "brings the ability to be a really electrifying player."

The top two lines appear to be solidified for now, so expect Duclair to slide in somewhere among the bottom six, perhaps the fourth line with Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels which will help ease him into the system.

2. Can Nick Schmaltz keep rolling?

In 13 games last month, Schmaltz had eight points (three goals, five assists). He's already matched that point total in five games in January, scoring five goals and adding three assists during his five-game point streak.

He's been sensational as of late, and it's come at a convenient time as Artem Anisimov continues to recover from an upper-body injury. It will certainly make things interesting once Anisimov is ready to return, but Schmaltz is looking like the player the Blackhawks thought he could be when they started him at second-line center alongside Patrick Kane to start the season.

Only Kane (45) has more points than Schmaltz (32) on the team this season, and the latter maybe wouldn't be too far off had he not missed four games in October with a lower-body injury.

3. Stay out of the box.

The Blackhawks are tied for 10th in penalty kill percentage (82.3) and are 10-for-10 in their last four games, but they need to do everything in their power to stay out of the box as much as possible.

The Jets have the second-ranked power play in the league (25.6 percent), and have scored with the man advantage in six straight games (9-for-23 for a 39.1 percent success rate over that span). And they're doing it without one of their best offensive weapons in Mark Scheifele, who's out with an upper-body injury and won't return for another month.

Still, Winnipeg is loaded with offensive talent that includes Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler up front and Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers on the back end.

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