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PREVIEW: Blackhawks at Coyotes - Feb. 1, 2020

Chicago returns from 10-day break in Arizona against the Coyotes

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

TIME: 7 p.m. CT

The Blackhawks are back in action after a 10-day layoff with the combined All-Star Game and bye-week break as they face the Arizona Coyotes for the third and final time this season. 


CHI: 24-21-6, 54 PTS (5th in Central)
ARI: 26-21-6, 58 PTS (4th in Central)


The Coyotes dropped a 3-2 overtime result to the Kings on Thursday night as second-period goals from Nick Schmaltz and Christian Dvorak were not enough to overcome an Alex Ifallo hat trick in LA's comeback win. Taylor Hall leads all Arizona skaters this season with 41 points (13G, 28A), including 16 points (7G, 9A) in 18 games since being acquired from New Jersey on Dec. 16. 

The Blackhawks had a five-game win streak snapped on Jan. 21 with a 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers at the United Center. Kirby Dach (1G, 1A) and Erik Gustafsson (2A) each logged two-point nights and Patrick Kane pushed his point streak to 11 straight games with a third-period goal.

Video: Colliton on matchup vs. ARI


Corey Crawford starts in net for the Blackhawks and Dylan Strome returns to the lineup following a seven-game absence (right ankle). Dennis Gilbert and Matthew Highmore will be healthy scratches.

Crawford has a 12-4-2 record all-time against the Coyotes. 

Chicago didn't run lines during Saturday's optional morning skate, but here are the combinations they worked with during Friday's practice:

Kubalik - Toews - Caggiula
Saad - Dach - Kane
DeBrincat - Kampf - Strome
Nylander - Carpenter - Smith

Keith - Boqvist
Gustafsson - Murphy
Maatta - Koekkoek

Video: Strome on return to lineup


Coming into Saturday, the Blackhawks trail the Coyotes in the Wild Card race by four points with two games in-hand. Arizona holds the second and final playoff spot and a win for either side would not only serve as a crucial two points gained, but also two points taken from their playoff contender.

Depending on how other results shake out on Saturday, Chicago could end the night just two points out of a Wild Card spot with a victory. 


The Blackhawks stretch of 12 wins in their last 18 outings has been led offensively, in part, by mainstays Kane and Jonathan Toews. Kane has points in 11 straight (5G, 11A), while Toews saw a six-game point streak (4G, 9A) end in the loss to Florida and had 16 points (5G, 11A) in 10 games overall during the month of January. 

But the streaks don't end there with five others riding high coming out of the break.

Gustafsson has six points (1G, 5A) in his last three outings, Drake Caggiula has five points (3G, 2A) in his last four games and Slater Koekkoek has four points (4A) in his last five appearances, while Dach (1G, 2A) and DeBrincat (2A) have points in two straight as well.

Video: Caggiula on important stretch

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