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At the Rink: Penguins at Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to sweep a home-and-home set against the Pittsburgh Penguins at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Neither team held a morning skate, so the starting goalies haven't been confirmed.

Following Chicago's 3-2 overtime win at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't rule out the idea of coming back with goalie Corey Crawford, who made 34 saves.

"We'll see," Quenneville told the Blackhawks website. "We'll consider all avenues."

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 27 saves Tuesday, has started the past two games in net for Pittsburgh after sitting out eight games with a concussion.

Quenneville said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is fine and is expected to play after leaving in overtime because of a cut. It's still uncertain when forward Richard Panik, acquired in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, will join the Blackhawks. Quenneville said Tuesday that Panik needed to get a work visa approved.

Chicago is vying to sweep Pittsburgh for the second straight season. The Blackhawks want to play better than they did Tuesday, when the Penguins outshot them 36-30 and forced overtime by overcoming a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang.

Rookie left wing Artemi Panarin won it for Chicago at 3:47 of overtime with his second goal of the game, but the Blackhawks felt fortunate to leave Pittsburgh with two points.

"That second period, it could've easily been 2-0 or 3-0 their way," Quenneville said. "I thought we had a really tough stretch there. We gave the puck away too many times. We got two breaks on our goals and they got themselves back in the game."

The Penguins' goal is to control the puck and pace of the game again, only with better results. Pittsburgh finished with a 68-54 edge in total shot attempts, but still had to overcome a two-goal deficit to force an overtime in which each team put five shots on goal.

"The last handful of games here, we've put some real consistent efforts in that should provide pretty good evidence on how specifically we have to play in order to give ourselves the best chance to win," coach Mike Sullivan told the Penguins website. "The more we can provide evidence for ourselves, I think the more the players believe."

Here are the projected lineups:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - David Perron

Matt Cullen - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Conor Sheary - Nick Bonino - Patric Hornqvist

Kevin Porter - Eric Fehr - Sergei Plotnikov

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Brian Dumoulin - Ben Lovejoy

Ian Cole - Trevor Daley

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

Injured: Beau Bennett (upper body)

Scratched: David Warsofsky, Scott Wilson, Adam Clendening


Andrew Shaw - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Andrew Desjardins - Phillip Danault - Teuvo Teravainen

Bryan Bickell - Dennis Rasmussen - Ryan Garbutt

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook

Trevor Van Riemsdyk - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Injured: Marcus Kruger (left wrist fracture)

Scratched: Brandon Mashinter, Rob Scuderi

Status report: Whenever Panik joins the Blackhawks, look for him to slot into the left wing spot on the top line. Shaw would likely move down to the third or fourth line. … Sullivan, who's shown a tendency to mix up his forward lines since taking over as coach Dec. 12, has gone with the same lineup for the past three games.

Who's hot: Kane had two assists Tuesday for his NHL-leading 16th multipoint game of the season and has points in each of the past four games for the Blackhawks. … Crosby has five goals during a four-game goal streak and Letang has three straight multipoint games for the Penguins.

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