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Murphy returns to Chicago lineup; Rinne seeks 350th win for Nashville

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (7-7-4) at PREDATORS (9-6-3)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to extend their winning streak to three games when they play the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The Blackhawks are 4-1-1 in their past six games after going 1-4-2 in their previous seven. Defenseman Connor Murphy is expected return to the lineup after missing the past 11 games because of a groin injury.

Chicago forward Kirby Dach can become the first 18-year-old in team history to score a goal in three consecutive games. 

The Predators are 1-3-2 in their past six games. Goaltender Pekka Rinne needs one win for 350 in the NHL.


Players to watch

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in a seven-game point streak. 

Predators forward Filip Forsberg has six points (four goals two assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"I think we feel better with the way we're playing. Obviously, we're winning some games and picking up some points so that's important. I still think there's probably another level to our game that we can get to, really control the game and out-play the other team. It's all a work in progress but if we can do that while we're winning games it's obviously a good thing." -- Chicago forward Patrick Kane on the team's play of late

"I think he's a real dynamic player, especially with his shot. I mean he's a creative player but his shot, he gets it off quick. It's hard. It's accurate. Definitely a difference-maker for us. Anytime you're out for four games, five games, six or seven games, it takes a second to find your game back and get your rhythm. He started off [the season] going down the right road. Unfortunately, those things happen, but he's now back to point where he can really make a difference." -- Nashville coach Peter Laviolette on Filip Forsberg's impact offensively since returning to the lineup Oct. 31


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex Nylander -- Jonathan Toews -- Brandon Saad

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Carpenter -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Kirby Dach -- Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Calvin de Haan -- Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta -- Erik Gustafsson

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol)


Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Mikael Granlund

Calle Jarnkrok -- Matt Duchene -- Viktor Arvidsson

Rocco Grimaldi -- Nick Bonino -- Craig Smith

Colton Sissons -- Kyle Turris -- Austin Watson

Roman Josi -- Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm -- Dante Fabbro

Dan Hamhuis -- Matt Irwin

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Miikka Salomaki, Yannick Weber

Injured: None


Status report

Koekkoek is expected to be the healthy scratch because of Murphy's return to the lineup. … The Predators had an optional morning skate. 


Stat pack

Strome has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past two games. … Arvidsson needs one point for 200 in the NHL.

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