Chicago raced out to a 3-0 lead and took a 4-3 overtime win in Boston on Thursday night with goals from Ryan Carpenter, Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat and an OT winner from Jonathan Toews. The win ended a three-game slide for the Blackhawks, who complete their sixth back-to-back of the season tonight in New Jersey.
The Devils dropped a 4-3 result to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first game with interim head coach Alain Nasreddine in charge following John Hynes' dismissal earlier in the day. Jonathan Marchessault scored a natural hat trick in the third period for Vegas to overcome a 2-1 New Jersey lead with goals from Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt. Taylor Hall notched his team-leading 22nd point (4G, 18A) on Nico Hischer's late tally in the third.
In two meetings a year ago, the home team prevailed both times, New Jersey taking an 8-5 win on Jan. 14 at the Prudential Center and Chicago with a 5-2 win at the United Center on Feb. 14. Patrick Kane (3G, 4A) led the season series in scoring, while Travis Zajac (2G, 2A) led the Devils.
Chicago did not hold a morning skate ahead of the second game of the back-to-back, but Jeremy Colliton confirmed that Corey Crawford will start, splitting the two-game stretch with Robin Lehner. With his next victory, Crawford will become just the third goalie in Blackhawks history to reach 250 wins (Tony Esposito - 418, Glenn Hall - 276).
Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms) is a game-time decision after missing last night's game.