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Blackhawks at Coyotes preview

Murphy of Chicago, Hjalmarsson of Arizona each face former team

by Craig Morgan / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (4-2-2) at COYOTES (0-6-1)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to extend their winning streak against the Arizona Coyotes to seven games at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

The Blackhawks are 8-0-1 in their past nine games against the Coyotes, and have not lost in regulation to Arizona since a 2-0 defeat on Feb. 7, 2014.

The Coyotes, the only NHL team that has not won a game this season, are off to their slowest start in franchise history.

Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy each will face his former team for the first time; Chicago traded Hjalmarsson to Arizona for Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin on June 23.  


Players to watch

Coyotes forward Clayton Keller leads all rookies with five goals. Keller had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 loss against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, and has nine points (five goals, four assists) in 10 career NHL games.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has one goal and three assists in a four-game point streak, and leads Chicago with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in eight games. 


They said it

"We've got eight guys and we feel they've all been fine for us. Everybody's got a chance to play now, and so we have some decisions to make on a game-to-game basis." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on rotating his defensemen

"It's going to be a little weird in the beginning, I bet, to face my old teammates. It's all new and I'm looking forward to the game." -- Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Ryan Hartman -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Artem Anisimov -- Alex DeBrincat

Lance Bouma -- Tommy Wingels -- John Hayden

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Jan Rutta

Jordan Oesterle -- Connor Murphy

Corey Crawford

Anton Forsberg

Scratched: Michal Kempny, Tanner Kero, Cody Franson

Injured: Michal Rozsival (upper body)


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Derek Stepan -- Clayton Keller

Jordan Martinook -- Christian Dvorak -- Tobias Rieder

Lawson Crouse -- Nick Cousins -- Christian Fischer

Zac Rinaldo -- Mario Kempe -- Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Niklas Hjalmarsson -- Alex Goligoski

Kevin Connauton -- Luke Schenn

Louis Domingue

Adin Hill

Scratched:  Adam Clendening

Injured: Antti Raanta (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (knee), Brendan Perlini (upper body), Brad Richardson (lower body)


Status report

Raanta will miss his fourth straight game with a muscle strain in his lower body. Raanta skated on his own Saturday, the first time he has skated since leaving after the first period in a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 12. … Perlini will miss his fifth straight game, and Richardson will be a game-time decision. … Chychrun skated on his own Saturday, the first time he has skated since knee surgery Aug. 3. General manager John Chayka said Chychrun remains out indefinitely.


Stat pack

Kane has 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 32 career games against Arizona. … Stepan has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five games. 

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