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Preview: Blackhawks at Kings

Marian Gaborik could make season debut for Los Angeles; Jonathan Toews out for Chicago

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (14-6-2) at KINGS (11-9-1)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, WGN, NHL.TV 

 

Blackhawks team scope

Center Jonathan Toews will miss his second straight game for the Chicago Blackhawks with an upper-body injury he sustained against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Toews missed a 3-2 win at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, and his absence was noticeable: The Ducks won 73 percent of faceoffs and dominated puck possession. Anaheim outshot Chicago 36-25 and finished with a 61.3 shot attempts percentage (SAT%) at even strength. Toews has missed three games combined in the past two seasons. Backup goalie Scott Darling will start for the first time since Nov. 19. Rookie defenseman Michal Kempny, who has been a healthy scratch in each of the past two games, may replace defenseman Michal Rozsival in the lineup. Forward Jordin Tootoo sustained a lower-body injury against Anaheim and will not play.

 

Kings team scope

Forward Marian Gaborik was activated from injured reserve and could make his season debut for the Los Angeles Kings, who are seeking their fifth straight win. Gaborik hasn't played since breaking his foot when he blocked a shot Sept. 25 playing for Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Gaborik was at left wing on the fourth line during the morning skate and will be a game-time decision. He hasn't played a regular-season game since Feb. 12 and would be the second forward to return to the lineup this week for Los Angeles, which got center Anze Kopitar back from an upper-body injury in a 4-2 victory against the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Kopitar, who missed five games, played on the third line against the Islanders but was on the top line at the morning skate. Goalie Peter Budaj, who is 4-0-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average in his past four starts, is expected to make his seventh straight start. It will be his 20th straight appearance for the Kings, who are 8-2-0 at Staples Center this season.

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Ryan Hartman -- Vinnie Hinostroza -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger - Andrew Desjardins

Tyler Motte -- Nick Schmaltz -- Richard Panik

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Brian Campbell

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Michal Rozsival

Injured: Jonathan Toews (upper body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Jordin Tootoo (lower body)

 

Kings projected lineup

Dwight King -- Anze Kopitar -- Trevor Lewis

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown -- Nic Dowd -- Devin Setoguchi

Marian Gaborik - Nick Shore -- Jordan Nolan

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Greene

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Kyle Clifford, Teddy Purcell, Tom Gilbert

Injured: Jonathan Quick (groin), Andy Andreoff (thumb), Brayden McNabb (collarbone)

 

Status report

Clifford likely will play left wing on the fourth line if Gaborik can't play. … Andreoff centered the extra line at practice Friday and during the morning skate. He stayed on the ice late, meaning he likely won't be active. … Gilbert could play in place of Greene on the Kings' third defense pair.

 

Who's hot

Doughty has a goal and three assists during a three-game point streak. … Hartman has three goals in the past five games.

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