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Blackhawks seek 11th straight win against Penguins

Pittsburgh has won three of five, faces Maatta for first time since trade to Chicago

by Wes Crosby / Independent Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (5-7-3) at PENGUINS (9-6-1)



The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to extend their winning streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins to 11 games when they play at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

The Blackhawks have won 10 straight games against the Penguins since a 4-1 road loss on March 30, 2014. That is their longest active winning streak against any opponent.

Chicago, which outscored Pittsburgh 11-6 in two wins last season, is 2-1-1 in its past four games after losing four of its previous five (1-3-1). It won 5-2 against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Pittsburgh is 3-1-1 in its past five games since a three-game losing streak. It trailed by three goals in the third period before winning 4-3 in overtime against the New York Islanders on Thursday.

The Penguins are 8-4-1 in their past 13 games.


Players to watch

Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta, who has four assists in 15 games, will face his former team for the first time since being traded from Pittsburgh to Chicago for forward Dominik Kahun on June 15. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017.

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games since missing 11 games with a lower-body injury.


They said it

"Even coming to the city, I don't know how to explain it. It's definitely a weird feeling." -- Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta

"It will be a little weird [to face Maatta]. I think when you play with a guy for that long, I think everyone knows each other's tendencies. So there shouldn't be any surprises there." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex Nylander -- Jonathan Toews -- Brandon Saad

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Drake Caggiula -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Andrew Shaw

Slater Koekkoek -- Duncan Keith

Calvin de Haan -- Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta -- Erik Gustafsson

Corey Crawford

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist

Injured: Connor Murphy (groin)


Penguins projected lineup

Alex Galchenyuk -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Jared McCann -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Dominik Kahun -- Nick Bjugstad -- Dominik Simon

Zach Aston-Reese -- Teddy Blueger -- Brandon Tanev

Brian Dumoulin -- John Marino

Marcus Pettersson -- Justin Schultz

Jack Johnson -- John Marino

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel, Sam Lafferty

Injured: Kris Letang (lower body), Patric Hornqvist (lower body)


Status report

Koekkoek and Kubalik will be in Chicago's lineup with Dach and Boqvist scratched. ... Letang is week to week, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Friday.


Stat pack

Kane has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a four-game point streak after having one assist in his previous five games. ... Galchenyuk needs one point to reach 300 in the NHL. He has three assists in seven games with the Penguins this season. ... Kahun has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games.

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