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game preview

Blackhawks at Senators preview

Lehner starts for Chicago; Zaitsev returns to lineup for Ottawa

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (20-20-6) at SENATORS (16-22-7)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NBCSCH, NHL.TV


The Game

Nikita Zaitsev will be in the lineup for the first time since sustaining an undisclosed injury on Dec. 14 when the Ottawa Senators play the Chicago Blackhawks at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday.

The Senators were 2-5-5 during the defenseman's absence. They are winless in their past seven games (0-4-3).

Goaltender Marcus Hogberg will make his third consecutive start for the Senators. Robin Lehner will start for the Blackhawks, who are 1-2-0 in their past three games after going 4-1-0 in their previous five.

Blackhawks forward Zack Smith will return to Ottawa for the first time since being traded by the Senators to Chicago on July 16, 2019 in exchange for forward Artem Anisimov.


Players to watch

Lehner is 7-0-3 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in 13 games against the Senators.

Hogberg is 1-2-4 with a .901 save percentage in seven starts this season.


They said it

"It's strange coming back and being on the other side in the rink, dressing in the visitor's [locker room]. I've been looking forward to this for a while. My first trip back to the city since the trade, so it's nice to get back and see a lot of familiar faces, people I've gotten to know and spend a lot of time with over the years. It's pretty special." -- Blackhawks forward Zack Smith on returning to Ottawa

"Anytime you're down numbers, you're down guys, it's going to affect you. There's going to be certain guys trying to pick up the slack a little more, you may be given extra minutes and, in turn, it can kind of affect team structure, too. … We battled hard, we did our best with what we had, and now is a chance to climb back up a little." -- Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki on having a healthy defense corps for the first time since Dec. 11


Blackhawks projected lineup

Dominik Kubalik -- Jonathan Toews -- Dylan Sikura

Alex DeBrincat -- Kirby Dach -- David Kampf

Alex Nylander -- Ryan Carpenter -- Patrick Kane

Matthew Highmore -- Zack Smith -- Drake Caggiula

Duncan Keith -- Adam Boqvist

Erik Gustafsson -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Slater Koekkoek

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Dennis Gilbert

Injured: Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Brandon Saad (right ankle), Brent Seabrook (right shoulder/left and right hip), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Dylan Strome (right ankle)


Senators projected lineup

Brady Tkachuk -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Connor Brown

Anthony Duclair -- Chris Tierney -- Drake Batherson

Filip Chlapik -- Colin White -- Tyler Ennis

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Artem Anisimov -- Rudolfs Balcers

Thomas Chabot -- Ron Hainsey

Mark Borowiecki -- Nikita Zaitsev

Mike Reilly - Dylan DeMelo

Marcus Hogberg

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Mikkel Boedker, Scott Sabourin, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Anders Nilsson (concussion), Nick Paul (ankle)


Status report

Blackhawks forward John Quenneville was assigned to Rockford of the American Hockey League because if he played one more NHL game this season, he'd become waiver-eligible, coach Jeremy Colliton said. … Senators defenseman Andreas Englund cleared waivers and was assigned to Belleville of the AHL.


Stat pack

Kane has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a six-game point streak. … The Senators have the worst power play in the League with a success rate of 11.4 percent.

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