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PREVIEW: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, Game 3 - Aug. 5, 2020

Chicago, Edmonton enter pivotal Game 3 deadlocked 1-1 in Qualifying Round series

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum / Blackhawks.com

TIME: 9:30 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH   RADIO: WGN 720-AM / WRTO-AM 1200  |  STREAM: NHL.TV & MyTeamsApp

It's now a best-of-three series starting Wednesday night between the Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Chicago took Game 1 of the Qualifying Round, 6-4, on Saturday afternoon before Edmonton took Game 2, 6-3, on Monday evening. 


LAST TIME OUT

The Oilers evening things up on the back of a Connor McDavid hat trick and a late offensive burst in Game 2. McDavid put Edmonton out in front early, 2-0, before the Blackhawks climbed back into a 3-3 tie late in the middle frame with goals from Patrick Kane, Slater Koekkoek and Olli Maatta. McDavid completed the hat trick a few minutes later before tallies by James Neal and Alex Chiasson sealed the 6-3 victory. 

Video: DeBrincat on playing with Kane


RETURN OF THE DRAKE

Following a one-game suspension that held him out of Game 2, the Blackhawks are expected to see Drake Caggiula return to the lineup on Wednesday night. Caggiula played a third-line roll in Game 1 alongside Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat, logging 11:25 of ice time with four hits and one blocked shot. 

"Drake's a big part of our lineup," Kane said after Game 2. "We missed him (Monday night). He brings a physical edge to his game and likes to mix it up. We'll welcome that back in Game 3."

John Quenneville made his NHL playoff debut in Caggiula's absence, logging 6:04 of ice time as Jeremy Colliton shortened the Chicago bench after falling behind early. 


PROJECTED LINEUP

With Caggiula returning to the lineup, it's likely that Colliton goes back to the DeBrincat-Dach-Caggiula combo from Game 1, when all four forward lines were running with success. The lone caveat would be if opts to stick with the chemistry that Kane had with the duo during Game 2. 

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

Keith - Boqvist
de Haan - Murphy 
Maatta - Koekkoek

Video: Keith on mentoring Boqvist


HOME, SWEET EDMONTON?

After being designated the road team for Games 1 and 2, the Blackhawks are the designated home team for Games 3 and 4 beginning tonight in Alberta. While true home-ice advantage doesn't exist in the hub city setup, the designation does give head coach Jeremy Colliton the advantage of the last change and being able to match his lines based on who Oilers head coach Dave Tippett puts out at every whistle. 


GETTING AHEAD

In both Game 1 and Game 2, the Blackhawks found themselves chasing the game early on -- Edmonton striking 2:34 into the first meeting and just 19 seconds in on Monday. 

"It's two games in a row where we've had to come from behind. It's not a position we want to be in," Colliton said, acknowledging that Game 2's start was more troublesome than in Game 1. "I think we had a good start in Game 1, they (just) scored on the power play. Big difference from our start in Game 2." 

During the regular season, the Oilers were 29-7-3 (.744) when scoring first in a game, but 8-18-6 (.250) when allowing the first goal. By contrast, the Blackhawks were 20-7-5 (.625) when scoring first and 12-23-3 (.316) when allowing the first tally. 

"From our perspective, we want to do the right things right from puck drop," Colliton added. "Sometimes a bounce goes for or against you. More so it's how we perform shift to shift that'll give us a chance to win the game. Hopefully that results in the first goal, but if it doesn't, we've got a high level of play. We've got to believe we'll come back."

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