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Blackhawks at Coyotes preview

Chicago, Arizona play for second time in five days

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (12-13-6) at COYOTES (18-11-4)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes will play for the second time in five days at Gila River Arena on Thursday.

The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout at United Center on Sunday to end a 3-1-0 road trip and are 5-3-2 in their past 10 games. 

Arizona has won four of its past five against Chicago, which is 3-6-2 in its past 11.

The Blackhawks will play without defenseman Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), who was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 10.


Players to watch

Blackhawks rookie forward Dominik Kubalik has scored goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his NHL career.

Coyotes forward Phil Kessel has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past five games and has scored seven goals in 19 games against the Blackhawks.


They said it

"We haven't played the right brand on the road. When they start pushing with momentum, we've got to be able to weather that and know how to push through that and get the pucks going back our way." -- Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy on going 5-6-3 on the road

"There are some guys here who aren't ready to play at home they like are on the road. That's accountability. It's been addressed and I expect a better effort. We've got to start establishing an identity at home like we did at the last part of last year." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet on going 7-7-1 on home ice


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Dominik Kubalik

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Matthew Highmore -- David Kampf -- Zack Smith

Alex Nylander -- Ryan Carpenter -- Kirby Dach

Olli Maatta -- Brent Seabrook

Erik Gustafsson -- Connor Murphy

Adam Boqvist -- Dennis Gilbert

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Dylan Sikura, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Duncan Keith (groin), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Calvin de Haan (shoulder)


Coyotes projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Christian Dvorak -- Christian Fischer

Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Phil Kessel

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Conor Garland

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Ilya Lyubushkin

Aaron Ness -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Robbie Russo

Injured: Jason Demers (knee), Niklas Hjalmarsson (fibula)


Status report

Maatta (illness) said he will return after missing four games. … Keith remains week to week. … Demers is week to week.


Stat pack

Lehner is 5-0-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and one shutout in six games against Arizona. … Chicago has scored a power-play goal in four consecutive games. … Keller has at least one point in seven of his past 10 games. … Arizona leads the NHL with five shootout wins.

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