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Preview: Blackhawks at Ducks

Anaheim tries to clinch Pacific Division; Chicago resting key players with playoff position locked

by Dan Arritt / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (50-22-8) at DUCKS (44-23-13)



Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks, who have secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, will rest several veteran players. Defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and forwards Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each is expected to be a healthy scratch. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (personal) won't play. Defenseman Gustav Forsling was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League and is expected to be in the lineup. Forsling, 20, had five points (two goals, three assists) in 36 games with Chicago earlier this season. He had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 30 games with Rockford. Coach Joel Quenneville said Forsling's best stretch came during training camp. "We're probably looking for some progression when he does play tonight," Quenneville said. "We still think he has all the intangibles." Forsling was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the fifth round (No. 126) of the 2014 NHL Draft before he was traded to the Blackhawks for defenseman Adam Clendening on Jan. 29, 2015. Keith, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, sat out for the first time this season against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, and Chicago allowed a season-high 51 shots in the 4-3 overtime loss. Goalie Corey Crawford will start.


Ducks teams scope

The Anaheim Ducks can clinch their fifth straight Pacific Division title if they win and the Edmonton Oilers lose to the San Jose Sharks, or if they earn a point against the Blackhawks and the Oilers lose in regulation. Anaheim will be without injured defensemen Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm. Fowler sustained a lower-body injury in a 3-1 victory against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, and Lindholm has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury. Anaheim recalled defenseman Jaycob Megna from San Diego of the AHL, and the 24-year-old who grew up in Chicago will make his NHL debut. "He's been a real rock-solid veteran presence," coach Randy Carlyle said of Megna's time in San Diego. "Through all of the recalls and whatnot, he was next on the list. [Shea] Theodore and [Brandon] Montour were ahead of him, but different players. ... He's a stay-at-home defenseman, a 6-foot-5 net-clearing guy." Carlyle said the Ducks still are assessing Fowler's injury. "We're not going to expect Shea Theodore to come in and replace Cam Fowler," he said. "We're going to have to do it by committee. I think Sami Vatanen is one of the guys who's going to have to step up his game, and then when Hampus Lindholm gets back, he's going to be expected to do more."

Blackhawks projected lineup

Tomas Jurco -- Nick Schmaltz -- Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin -- Tanner Kero -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Andrew Desjardins

John Hayden -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Jordin Tootoo

Johnny Oduya -- Michal Rozsival

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Gustav Forsling -- Michal Kempny

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Vinnie Hinostroza

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body)


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Chris Wagner -- Logan Shaw -- Ondrej Kase

Shea Theodore -- Brandon Montour

Jaycob Megna -- Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Nate Thompson, Clayton Stoner, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Hampus Lindholm (upper body), Cam Fowler (lower body)


Status report

Gibson will start his second straight game. He started 45 of the first 58 games for the Ducks but missed six games with a lower-body injury and another nine after sustaining a setback in his return on March 10. Bernier went 12-2-1 when Gibson was out. "His first game was outstanding," Carlyle said of Gibson, who made 26 saves against the Flames on Tuesday. "[Gibson] came back and just basically picked up where he left off."


Who's hot

Kane has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his past 14 games. ... Panarin has seven points (six goals, one assist) during his five-game point streak. ... Getzlaf has 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in the past 16 games. ... Eaves has eight goals in his past nine games.

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