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Preview: Blackhawks at Senators

Ottawa eyes first place in Atlantic Division; forward John Hayden to make NHL debut for Chicago

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (44-20-5) at SENATORS (39-22-7)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, CSN-CH, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks, 14-3-0 in their past 17 games, lead the Minnesota Wild by one point for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference; the Wild have one game in hand. Forward Artem Anisimov sustained a lower-body injury during a 4-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday and will miss 3-4 weeks. Rookie forward John Hayden, who signed a two-year contract Sunday after completing his collegiate career at Yale University, will make his NHL debut and play on a line with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik. Hayden, 22, was Chicago's third-round pick (No. 74) in the 2013 NHL Draft, and had 91 points (50 goals, 41 assists) in 127 games in four seasons at Yale. Nick Schmaltz could take Anisimov's place at center on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane. Forward Marian Hossa is expected to play his 1,300th NHL game.

 

Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators can move into first place in the Atlantic Division with a point on Thursday; the Senators trail the Montreal Canadiens by one point with two games in hand. Goaltender Mike Condon will start in goal for the second straight game with No. 1 Craig Anderson out with a lower-body injury. Anderson could be ready to play against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, coach Guy Boucher said. The Senators have at least a point in seven consecutive games (6-0-1); their 2-1 overtime loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday ended a six-game winning streak. "We're playing tonight, probably the standard in the League, what everybody is aspiring to become, a team that's a contender every year, that's consistent," Boucher said of the Blackhawks. "That's what they are. They are the standard for the last 10 years, for sure."

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- John Hayden

Artemi Panarin -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Michal Kempny, Andrew Desjardins, Tomas Jurco, Michal Rozsival

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body)

 

Senators projected lineup 

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Zack Smith

Alexandre Burrows -- Derick Brassard -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Viktor Stalberg -- Chris Kelly -- Tommy Wingels

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Chris Driedger

Scratched Jyrki Jokipakka, Chris DiDomenico

Injured: Craig Anderson (lower body), Mark Stone (lower body), Mark Borowiecki (lower body), Chris Neil (broken finger), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)

 

Status report

The Blackhawks did not hold a morning skate. … Stone will miss his second straight game. "Right now, not close," Boucher said of Stone's status, which is week to week.

 

Who's hot

Kane has 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in his past nine games. … Toews has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his past 13 games. … Panarin has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past eight games. … Karlsson has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his past 16 games. … Pageau has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six games.

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