The Blackhawks will face a repeat oppoenent for the first time this season as the Philalphia Flyers visit the United Center on Thursday night (TICKETS). The two team opened the season against each other in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4 as part of the NHL Global Series.
Chicago dropped their first shootout appearance of the season on Tuesday night, 2-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights. Robin Lehner stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced in his third start of the year and Kirby Dach scored his first NHL goal in the first period.
Philadelphia snapped a three-game winless skid on Monday night with a 6-2 result over the same Golden Knights team that played in Chicago 24 hours later. Konecny had a goal and an assist, bringing his team-leading total to 10 points on the year (4G, 6A). Oskar Lindblom scored as well and is tied with Konecny for Philadelphia's lead in goals (4).
Almost three weeks ago, the Flyers took a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on the back of two goals from Travis Konecny. Patrick Kane scored and added two assists in the opener, while Alexander Nylander and Alex DeBrincat found their first tallies of the year as well.
At the tail end of a seven-game homestand, the Blackhawks will get to test their early-season progress against their first opponent of the season.
Chicago has added six points to their name in the opening six games of the home stretch. The results haven't been as adventageous as head coach Jeremy Colliton would've liked, but the team as a whole is in a more complete place than they were three weeks ago in Prague.
"We want points, no question and ultimately we're going to need points to get into the playoffs," he said. "Ultimately we're trying to build our game, build our habits because we're going to need that game to get points (going forward) ... To me, the challenge is keeping that foot on the gas, keeping that - our compete level has been pretty good, we're handling the details better and better each day. We've got to keep taking steps forward and no steps back."
"It's just executing our team game," Jonathan Toews said of facing Philadelphia again. "It wasn't really there that first game, it seemed like they were ready to play their team game and we weren't quite ready. We're playing better hockey now and we're at home so we've got to take advantage of this chance and get two points against these guys.
With Connor Murphy placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve on Wednesday, Calvin de Haan will move from the left side of the third pairing to the right side on the top unit with Duncan Keith.
"de Haan is a veteran guy. He knows how to play. He's played the right a little bit, he played in the playoffs with Carolina on the right somewhat when they had some injury trouble," Colliton said of the move. "He's a good player and he can handle the extra minutes, but of the guys who could move over, he's probably the best candidate."
Dennis Gilbert was recalled to replace Murphy on the active roster and Slater Koekkoek will slot in alongside Erik Gustafsson on the third pairing after being a healthy scratch in each of the last five games.