UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be at full strength up front Saturday when they try for their ninth consecutive victory.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who left the Blackhawks’ 3-2 road victory against the Boston Bruins on Thursday in the second period after being checked face-first into the end boards, took part in the morning skate and will be in the lineup against the New York Islanders.
“I feel great,” said Toews, who has a history of concussions. “I felt fine after the hit and in the third period, but the training staff held me back as a precaution.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said Toews was kept out of the remainder of the game against the Bruins after the hit by defenseman Dennis Seidenberg as a precaution. “He wanted to play,” Quenneville said. “But there are certain protocols you have to go through. We followed it and he’s ready to go.”
Chicago has been on a tear for nearly a month. The Blackhawks have won eight in a row, 11 of 12, and 13 of 15 games since Nov. 9. They’ve moved into first place in the Central Division and are second in the overall standings.
“Consistency,” Quenneville said when asked what he’s liked about his team’s play. “I like the four-line rotation; real solid across the board and everybody’s playing the right way. The penalty-killing has been great; our goaltending all year has been excellent. We’ve got a little momentum, a little excitement within our team right now. Everybody’s excited about playing games. We’ve got a little confidence that we didn’t see earlier in the year.”