CHI: 12-13-6, 30 PTS (7th in Central) ARI: 18-11-4, 40 PTS (2nd in Pacific)
LAST TIME OUT
Chicago dropped a 5-1 result on Tuesday night in Vegas against the Golden Knights. Dominik Kubalik scored his second goal in as many outings and eighth overall on the year, putting him into a tied for second place in rookie goal scoring this season (Victor Olofsson - 12, Cale Makar - 8).
Arizona fell 5-2 at home on Tuesday night to the Calgary Flames. Jakob Chychrun and Phil Kessel scored the lone goals for the Coyotes as Antti Raanta stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced.
The Blackhawks and Coyotes met just five days ago, a 4-3 shootout win for Arizona at the United Center. Jonathan Toews scored 53 seconds into the game and Alex DeBrincat and Kubalik added first-period goals, but the Coyotes fought back in the second with goals from Conor Garland and Carl Soderberg to force extra time. Robin Lehner made 44 saves in the game, including 17 in the third period alone to earn the point.
Jeremy Colliton told reporters after morning skate that Lehner will return to the net against Arizona after Sunday's shootout loss. Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms) will return to the lineup after missing the last four games, replacing Calvin de Haan, who was placed on IR (right shoulder) earlier on Thursday. Matthew Highmore will also replace Dylan Sikura up front, dressing for his third game this season.
Sikura and Slater Koekkoek will be healthy scratches for the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks Head Athletic Trainer Mike Gapski will work his 2,500th regular season NHL game tonight. 'Gapper' as he's known, is in his 33rd season on Chicago's staff and has worked under 13 head coaches in that span. Team historian Bob Verdi, another Blackhawks legend in his own right, takes you through Gapski's incredible journey to reach the milestone.