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Blackhawks at Canadiens preview

Chicago seeks fifth straight win; Montreal has lost three of past four

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (31-30-9) at CANADIENS (37-27-7)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will try for a fifth straight win when they play the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Chicago, which had a seven-game winning streak from Jan. 20-Feb. 10, was 1-4-0 in the five games prior to its current streak.

The Blackhawks are six points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Carey Price will start in goal for Montreal, which is 2-4-0 in its past six games. The Canadiens are two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.


Players to watch

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, who is third in the NHL with 99 points (41 goals, 58 assists), needs one point to become the third player in Chicago history to have multiple 100-point seasons along with Denis Savard (five times) and Jeremy Roenick (three times). Kane has at least one point in 32 of his past 36 games, recording 62 points (26 goals, 36 assists) over that span.

Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"It should be a tough game. They're a good team and they've played well all season and they have a lot of good players. So, we just have to go out and play our game. You know, we can beat anyone in this League, I think, if we play a good solid game and play a full 60 minutes." -- Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat

"We're in a dogfight. I mean if you can't turn it on now you're in the wrong sport. You know, we'll have a good effort tonight and hopefully come out with two points." -- Canadiens defenseman Jordie Benn


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Dylan Sikura

Dominik Kahun -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Brendan Perlini

Chris Kunitz -- David Kampf -- Marcus Kruger

Duncan Keith -- Erik Gustafsson

Slater Koekkoek -- Connor Murphy

Gustav Forsling -- Brent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Cam Ward

Scratched: John Hayden, Carl Dahlstrom

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion)


Canadiens projected lineup

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Andrew Shaw

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Paul Byron -- Nate Thompson -- Jordan Weal

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Jordie Benn -- Christian Folin

Carey Price

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Charles Hudon, Matthew Peca, Nicolas Deslauriers, Dale Weise, Mike 
Reilly, Charlie Lindgren

Injured: None


Status report

Ward returns after missing the past four games because of a knee injury, though Crawford is expected to start in goal. … Koekkoek will play in place of Dahlstrom after being a healthy scratch for the past three games, and four of the past five. … The Canadiens had an optional morning skate and will use the same lineup for a third straight game.


Stat pack

Perlini has six points (four goals, two assists) in consecutive three-point games. … DeBrincat has 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in the past 12. … Drouin has no points in the past seven games, and 14 of his past 15.

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