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Preview: Blackhawks at Capitals

Washington goes for eighth consecutive victory, Chicago looks for fifth straight win

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (27-12-5) at CAPITALS (27-9-5)



Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to win their fifth consecutive game Friday. The Blackhawks, 10-4-1 in their past 15 games, are 11-4-2 against Eastern Conference opponents this season. In their last meeting against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 11, Chicago lost 3-2 in overtime. "Their power play has been dangerous," coach Joel Quenneville said of the Capitals. "[Captain Alex] Ovechkin has been shooting the puck as good as he ever has and you know where he's going to be, and they still find a way to get him some clean looks over there. We found every time we play him that he always finds a way in. Let's make sure we deny that as best we can and knowing that we're going to need everybody to play some meaningful shifts, play them the right way. but let's make sure we don't spend much time in our end, because this team has so many weapons offensively and try to play and make them defend." Goaltender Corey Crawford is expected to start. He's 7-2-1 with 24 goals allowed in his past 10 starts, and has held opponents to three goals or fewer in 11 straight starts. Forward Marian Hossa needs one assist for 600 in his NHL career, and defenseman Brian Campbell is one point from 500 in the League.


Capitals team scope

The Capitals are looking for their eighth straight win after a 5-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. Washington is 14-2-2 in its past 18 games, 8-1-1 in past 10 home games, and 16-5-1 at home this season with the second-most points (59) through 41 games in franchise history. At the same juncture last season, the Capitals were 31-7-3 and had 65 points. Washington took seven minor penalties on Wednesday against the Penguins, three against forward T.J. Oshie, who skated laps on Thursday after practice as part of an accountability exercise. "You're going to get penalties in this game," coach Barry Trotz said Thursday. "I'm not going to skate every guy for every penalty, but when you get a couple multiple ones, then the odd time might be a little reminder. I don't know where we'll go with it. It was just a reminder. It's a visual for guys like, 'Why is Osh skating?' That's just the visual of a reminder without hurting anybody that there's a little bit of consequence, but also you don't want to take three penalties in a game. You're asking a lot of very good friends to block shots and put the game at risk. Just try to avoid those."


Blackhawks projected lineup

Vinnie Hinostroza -- Jonathan Toews -- Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Rozsival -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Kempny 

Injured: Marcus Kruger (hand)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney

Injured: none


Status report

Washington held an optional morning skate. … Carlson left practice early on Thursday with a lower-body injury but will play. Rozsival returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for six games and 13 times in 15 games. … Kruger remains on injured reserve and did not travel to Washington.


Who's hot

Kane has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past four games and 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in his past 13 games. … Hartman has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past two games. … Keith has six points (one goal, five assists) in a five-game point streak. … Panarin has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in his past 15 games. … Kuznetsov has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past five games. … Ovechkin has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past two games. … Backstrom has eight points (two goals, six assists) in a four-game point streak. … Williams has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Carlson has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five games. … Oshie has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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