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Blackhawks at Penguins preview

Pittsburgh trying for third straight win, seeks to end seven-game losing streak to Chicago

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (9-8-2) at PENGUINS (11-7-3)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will look for a better performance against the Chicago Blackhawks than they had in their second game of the season when they play at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

In the second half of a back-to-back on the first two nights of the regular season, the Penguins lost 10-1 at United Center on Oct. 5. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray allowed six goals on 31 shots after relieving Antti Niemi in the first period of Chicago's season opener. The Blackhawks have won their past seven games against the Penguins since a 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh on March 30, 2014.

The Blackhawks are 2-1-0 in their past three games after going 2-5-0 in their previous seven. The Penguins have won back-to-back games after a 1-2-2 stretch.


Players to watch

Chicago rookie forward Alex DeBrincat has five points (four goals, one assist) during a three-game point streak. He is tied for second on the Blackhawks with seven goals, two behind forward Artem Anisimov.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games after having three points (all assists) in his previous 11. He scored his first goal since Oct. 21 in a 5-4 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.


They said it

"I'm sure they're going to be hungry, angry and ready to go. Let's try to be proactive and get off to a great start." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

"This is a good team we're playing. We should have plenty of motivation to want to play the game the right way." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Nick Schmaltz -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Ryan Hartman -- Alex DeBrincat

Lance Bouma -- Tommy Wingels -- John Hayden

Duncan Keith -- Cody Franson

Connor Murphy -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Jan Rutta

Corey Crawford

Anton Forsberg

Scratched : Michal Kempny, Tanner Kero, Jordan Oesterle

Injured : Michal Rozsival (concussion), Jordin Tootoo (upper body)


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Conor Sheary -- Riley Sheahan -- Patric Hornqvist

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Greg McKegg -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Justin Schultz

Matt Hunwick -- Ian Cole

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched : Josh Archibald, Frank Corrado, Chad Ruhwedel

Injured : Carter Rowney (hand)


Status report

Keith will play after missing practice the past two days with an undisclosed illness. … Hunwick will return after missing 15 games with a concussion. He was paired with Cole during line rushes at the morning skate. Maatta will be a game-time decision after missing the morning skate with an undisclosed illness.


Stat pack

Kane leads the Blackhawks with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 12 games against the Penguins. He had four points (one goal, three assists) against Pittsburgh on Oct. 5. … Sheahan has points in consecutive games for the first time since having one assist each on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, 2016, while with the Detroit Red Wings.

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