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Preview: Blackhawks at Oilers

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid to face Chicago for first time

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (13-4-2) at OILERS (10-8-1) 

9 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, CSN-CH, NHL.TV 

 

Blackhawks team scope 

The Chicago Blackhawks are after their third consecutive win on their longest road trip of the season. Forward Marian Hossa scored in overtime of a 4-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, and has 11 goals and 17 points in 18 games. "When the puck has been going in for you since the beginning of the season, you start playing relaxed," Hossa said. "You have a positive role and what also helped was having a long summer. I haven't had a long summer in a long time and losing in the [Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs] had some benefits too after so many long years playing hockey. I think I needed it, it rejuvenated and re-energized me and it definitely helped." Forward Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks in scoring with six goals, 14 assists and 20 points in 19 games. "We still feel there is a little bit of room for improvement throughout our game," Kane said. "We have a good record, we can probably chalk it up to good goaltending and timely scoring. For us, we want to play a complete 60 minutes, that's the biggest thing."

 

Oilers team scope 

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will play Kane, Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks for the first time in his NHL career. McDavid missed all three games against Chicago last season with a broken clavicle. "Anytime you get to play against the best of the best, it's always special," McDavid said. "I'm looking forward to the chance to be able to play them and see what that's like." The Oilers will not make any lineup changes, meaning forward Benoit Pouliot will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. "It's not so much tonight what we need from him, it's what we got from the group of players in Dallas," coach Todd McLellan said. "We've consistently rewarded the lineup for a pretty good effort and we're not going to change that now." Forward Drake Caggiula had an assist in his first NHL game Saturday. "It was a dream come true, it was an amazing feeling," Caggiula said. "I couldn't stop smiling, I was smiling through the whole game and all the way home after. Talking to all my friends and family yesterday and reminiscing about it, it was a special day and I'll definitely never forget it."

 

Blackhawks projected lineup 

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane 

Artem Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa 

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Tyler Motte  

Ryan Hartman -- Vinnie Hinostroza -- Richard Panik  

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell  

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook  

Niklas Hjalmarsson -- Gustav Forsling  

Corey Crawford  

Scott Darling  

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Andrew Desjardins, Jordin Tootoo  

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup 

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Jesse Puljujarvi  

Patrick Maroon -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Zack Kassian -- Leon Draisaitl -- Anton Slepyshev  

Matt Hendricks -- Drake Caggiula -- Tyler Pitlick  

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson  

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell  

Darnell Nurse -- Matthew Benning  

Cam Talbot  

Jonas Gustavsson  

Scratched: Mark Letestu, Benoit Pouliot, Eric Gryba  

Injured: Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Brandon Davidson (upper body), Mark Fayne (lower body), Andrew Ference (hip)

 

Status report 

Forsling will play against the Oilers after being scratched for Rozsival in Vancouver. "We knew he was coming right back in and we feel like he's going to be fine," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He had six [games] in nine nights and we felt it was good for him to get a rest and get back in there tonight." … Puljujarvi will keep his spot on the top line beside McDavid and Lucic. He had two assists in the win against the Stars.

 

Who's hot 

Hossa has scored a goal in six of his past seven games. … Kane has a goal and two assists in his past four games. … McDavid had his first NHL hat trick to help the Oilers end a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at the Dallas Stars on Saturday. … Klefbom has two goals in his past two games.

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