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Blackhawks at Hurricanes preview

Darling starts for Carolina, faces former team for first time; Chicago juggles lines in search of offense

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (7-7-2) at HURRICANES (6-5-3)

7 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-CR, NHL.TV


The Game

Goaltender Scott Darling will face his former team for the first time when the Carolina Hurricanes host the Chicago Blackhawks at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Darling was Corey Crawford's backup for three seasons before being traded to the Hurricanes on April 28 and signing a four-year contract.

The Hurricanes are seeking for their season-best third straight win after a 3-1 victory at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Backup goaltender Anton Forsberg will start for Chicago, which is looking to avoid its third consecutive loss. The Blackhawks have shuffled all four lines after scoring one goal in their past two defeats. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who played on a line together for the first time this season in a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, will be separated. Nick Schmaltz will move from center to left wing.


Players to watch

Forsberg is looking for his first NHL win as a starting goaltender. He is 1-9-2 in 13 career appearances. The victory came after he entered a game after regulation and stopped six shots in overtime and two of three shootout attempts for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 5-4 win against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 2, 2016.

Hurricanes center Jordan Staal has four goals in his past five games, including two on Friday, after scoring two in his first nine games this season.


They said it

"He deserves it. He was a great guy to have around, too. We got along great together, so I was really happy for him. He's easygoing, keeps things light. We could chat and laugh during games." -- Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, on former teammate Scott Darling 

"We play a lot of tight games right now, that's just the way it is. We're not getting much right now offensively. We're going to continue to work on that. I think it is going to come. So be prepared to win a 2-1 game or a 3-2 game and play that way from the drop of the puck." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Nick Schmaltz -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Tommy Wingels -- Ryan Hartman

Lance Bouma -- Tanner Kero -- Alex DeBrincat

Duncan Keith -- Cody Franson

Gustav Forsling -- Jan Rutta

Connor Murphy -- Brent Seabrook

Anton Forsberg

Corey Crawford

Scratched:  Jordan Oesterle, John Hayden, Michal Kempny

Injured: Michal Rozsival (upper body)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Victor Rask -- Justin Williams

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Elias Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Cam Ward

Scratched: Patrick Brown, Klas Dahlbeck

Injured: None


Status report

Kero will dress after eight games as a healthy scratch. … The Hurricanes did not hold a morning skate.


Stat pack

Toews has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past 11 games after having six points (three goals, three assists) in his first six games.

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