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One of the curiosities of last season was the holy-crap performance of aging veteran Teemu Selanne. Despite having four decades in his rear view mirror, he notched 31 goals and a whopping 80 points in 73 regular-season games, adding a goal-per-game performance in the playoffs. Selanne and 4 other Ducks players were all north of 65 points on the 2010-11 season, and Selanne plus the other 4 will all be in the lineup tonight at the United Center: forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan, and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

But I’m sure Anaheim Head Coach Randy Carlyle is hoping his offensive stars will start to shine soon, as the Ducks are near the bottom of the barrel in scoring, just barely nudging past 2 goals per game on average. Those five players account for fully two-thirds of the Ducks total offense to date. Pay close attention to those players, you shut down the Ducks offense — almost.

The Blackhawks need to pay attention to one more player in particular: youngster Patrick Maroon was recalled from Syracuse on Monday, where he has logged 4 goals, 4 assists and a +6 ratings to go with his 15 penalty minutes — in just 6 games. The kid has the potential to charge up an otherwise lackluster offense for the Ducks.

Fortunately, charging up the offense isn’t a problem with the Blackhawks. They are second in the league in goals per game, despite a dismal power play conversion rate of just 14%. Last year the Blackhawks’ offense ran up against the man in the flat black goalie mask: Ducks’ netminder Jonas Hiller held the ‘Hawks to 2 goals or less in three out of four games, though in one game we got under his skin enough to chase him halfway through the third period. (It should be noted that Hiller was yanked in the Ducks’ last game against Phoenix on Sunday). Those four games ended in a 2 – 2 record for the Blackhawks, with overtime being necessary to settle one of them.

We can expect much of the same from the Ducks again this year: concentrated offense, adequate defense, and standout goaltending. Nothing the Blackhawks can’t handle. As long as they play like they did last Thursday, and not last Saturday.

Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville was justifiably ticked off at the post-game press conference following the Blackhawks’ loss to Colorado. Bone-headed mistakes were the difference in a 5 – 4 shootout loss that saw a lot of rookie foul-ups from some should’ve-known-better veterans — not naming any names, Mr. Montador.

Add to that the fact that the Blackhawks have, collectively, been blanked during the two shootouts so far this season, and you can understand why Coach Qstache had the team begin practice with the shootout drill on Monday. Something has to change there, it hasn’t been our strong suit for three straight seasons.

Miscellaneous debris: look for Corey Crawford between the pipes for Chicago, and it would be surprising to see anyone but Hiller in net for Anaheim. No injuries to report for Chicago, the Ducks are without the services of defenseman Matt Smaby (thumb) and winger Jason Blake (wrist).

It’s a 7:30 puck drop at the United Center tonight. TV is Comcast SportsNet; broadcast radio is WGN AM-720; XM subscribers will find the game on channel 216; and Sirius Premiere package subscribers should tune to channel 215.

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