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At the Rink blog

Blackhawks put Toews, Kane on different lines

Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Blackhawks put Toews, Kane on different lines

CHICAGO -- Looking for more offensive production, the Chicago Blackhawks are going back to what worked last season.

Heading into their game Saturday at United Center against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC), Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is splitting up star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Quenneville did the same thing for most of the 2012-13 regular season, which ended with Chicago winning the Presidents' Trophy prior to winning the 2013 Stanley Cup.

Kane and Toews were on the same line midway through the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and started this season the same way. But with the Blackhawks struggling to score more than two goals a game, Quenneville is ready to see what the old line combinations can do.

Marian Hossa, who didn't practice Friday but is expected to play, likely will move to right wing on the top line with Toews while Kane likely will slide back into the right-wing spot on the second line opposite left wing Patrick Sharp.

The game also marks former Blackhawks center Dave Bolland's return to Chicago wearing a different uniform. He was traded to the Maple Leafs about a week after scoring the series-clinching goal in the 2013 Cup Final.

Toronto likely will have forward James van Riemsdyk back on its top line after a three-game absence due to back spasms. Goalie James Reimer, knocked out of his start 32 seconds into the Leafs' previous game after colliding with teammate Josh Leivo, is expected to be on the bench backing up Jonathan Bernier.

Here is how the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks likely will line up Saturday:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - David Broll

Josh Leivo - Dave Bolland - Mason Raymond

Colton Orr - Jay McClement - Carter Ashton

Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson

Morgan Rielly - Cody Franson

Jake Gardiner - Paul Ranger

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Troy Bodie

Suspended: David Clarkson

Injured: Nikolai Kulemin (ankle), Mark Fraser (knee), Frazer McLaren (finger)

BLACKHAWKS

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Joakim Nordstrom

Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Brandon Pirri

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michael Kostka

Corey Crawford

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratched: Ben Smith, Michal Rozsival, Sheldon Brookbank

Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh