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Blackhawks at Kings preview

Chicago hopes to climb in wild-card race; Campbell starts for Los Angeles

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (34-33-10) at KINGS (28-40-9)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCH, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to gain ground in the Western Conference wild-card race when they visit the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Blackhawks are seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West with five regular-season games remaining and a game in hand. 

Chicago is 2-3-1 in its past six games following a five-game winning streak.

The Kings, who have lost two straight (0-1-1) after winning three in a row, have been eliminated from playoff contention.


Players to watch

Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, with 76 points (33 goals, 43 assists), is one shy of setting an NHL career high. He also had 76 points (32 goals, 44 assists) in 2010-11. 

Kings forward Dustin Brown has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games.


They said it

"We want to drag this out as long as we can and be alive, play important games as long as we can. More so, it's the mentality that we're not going to quit. When things are dark, when things are going against you, it tells you a lot about the character you have." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton

"He's got a good stick. I'd like to always try to get him around 10 minutes a night. I think there's room that he can get better over the summer, but I think he's played pretty well." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins on center Michael Amadio, who has two assists in two games since he was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League on March 24


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex DeBrincat -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane  

Drake Caggiula -- David Kampf -- Dylan Strome

Brandon Saad -- Artem Anisimov -- Dylan Sikura   

Chris Kunitz -- Marcus Kruger -- Dominik Kahun  

Duncan Keith -- Erik Gustafsson

Gustav Forsling -- Brent Seabrook  

Carl Dahlstrom -- Connor Murphy  

Corey Crawford

Cam Ward

Scratched: Brendan Perlini, John Hayden, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: None


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Carl Grundstrom -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli  

Kyle Clifford -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis   

Austin Wagner -- Michael Amadio -- Jonny Brodzinski   

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid -- Paul LaDue

Jack Campbell

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Dion Phaneuf, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sean Walker

Injured: Brendan Leipsic (lower body) 


Status report

Caggiula will return after missing 13 games because of a concussion. … Kovalchuk will be scratched for the sixth straight game. Desjardins said he expect to play Kovalchuk during the final four games of the season.  


Stat pack

Kane has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his past 13 games after having 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in his previous 22 games. … Chicago is 6-13-4 against the Pacific Division. … Kopitar has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past seven games.

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