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Blackhawks at Avalanche preview

Forsberg likely to start for Chicago; Colorado looks to rebound after loss

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (5-4-2) at AVALANCHE (5-5-0)



The Game

Rookie goalie Anton Forsberg is expected to start for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Forsberg played for Avalanche coach Jared Bednar with Springfield of the American Hockey League in 2014-15 and won the Calder Cup with Bednar with Lake Erie in 2015-16. Corey Crawford made 28 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday; Chicago has lost four of five.

Goalie Jonathan Bernier will start for the Avalanche, who have lost four of their past five games but are 3-1-0 at home. They lost 7-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.


Players to watch

Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews has two assists in his past six games after starting the season with a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists), but has 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games against the Avalanche.

Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past seven games. He needs one goal for 50 in his NHL career and one point for 200. He has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 20 games against the Blackhawks.


They said it

"He has come in here and earned a little bit more each and every day and game. Whether they get more ice time or not will be determined. But just watching them in practices and in some games when they're together, I think they're complementary offensively and strong defensively.'' -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on playing defenseman Jan Rutta with Duncan Keith

"We have to come out and make sure we're real competitive. Certainly, we gave up too many chances last night in the second half of the game. If you make mistakes against a team like Chicago, it'll hurt to you." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar 


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Alex DeBrincat

Richard Panik -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Artem Anisimov -- John Hayden

Lance Bouma -- Tommy Wingels -- Ryan Hartman

Duncan Keith -- Jan Rutta

Gustav Forsling -- Brent Seabrook

Michal Kempny -- Connor Murphy

Anton Forsberg

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Cody Franson, Tanner Kero, Jordan Oesterle

Injured: Michal Rozsival (upper body)


Avalanche projected lineup

Sven Andrighetto -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog -- Matt Duchene -- Nail Yakupov

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

A.J. Greer -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Rocco Grimaldi

Anton Lindholm -- Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth -- Tyson Barrie

Mark Barberio -- Andrei Mironov

Jonathan Bernier

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Andrew Agozzino, Chris Bigras, Nikita Zadorov

Injured: Gabriel Bourque (upper body), J.T. Compher (broken thumb), Tyson Jost (lower body), Colin Wilson (hip)


Status report

Each team held an optional morning skate. ... Agozzino and Grimaldi were recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Thursday.


Stat pack

Chicago is 1-for-16 on the power play in its past four games. ... Colorado has an NHL-best six empty-net goals, one more than last season.

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