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Blackhawks at Jets preview

Laine aims to set NHL record for teenager with 14-game point streak; Chicago has six wins in past 20

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (30-32-8) at JETS (41-19-10)



The Game

Patrik Laine will look to set the NHL record for points in consecutive games by a teenager when the Winnipeg Jets play the Chicago Blackhawks at Bell MTS Place on Thursday.

Laine has 23 points (16 goals, seven assists) in his 13-game point streak, which is tied with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, who had 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) as an 18-year-old from Jan. 25-March 6, 2014.

Defenseman Jacob Trouba is likely to return for Winnipeg, which has lost three games in a row (0-2-1). Trouba has missed 20 games with a lower-body injury sustained on Jan. 25.

The Jets are in second place in the Central Division, eight points behind the Nashville Predators and seven points ahead of the Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks are 3-5-0 in their past eight games and 6-13-1 in their past 20. Chicago is 14 points behind the Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.


Players to watch

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.

Jets forward Paul Stastny returns to the lineup after being a late scratch in a 3-1 loss against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.


They said it

"We have pride as a team, you know what you're capable as a team even if you've underachieved or you haven't had the success you've been looking for in the past couple of months. A test like this against the Jets is obviously a big one for us." -- Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews

"Boring, that's for sure. It's not easy watching. But I think we've done an excellent job filling a lot of injury holes we've had. We've managed, which is a sign of a good team, good depth. Excited to get back." -- Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Nick Schmaltz -- John Hayden

Tomas Jurco -- Artem Anisimov -- Matthew Highmore

Patrick Sharp -- David Kampf -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Erik Gustafsson -- Brent Seabrook

Jordan Oesterle -- Jan Rutta

Anton Forsberg

J-F Berube

Scratched: None

Injured: Corey Crawford (upper body), Anthony Duclair (lower body)


Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Bryan Little -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Paul Stastny -- Patrik Laine

Mathieu Perreault -- Andrew Copp -- Joel Armia

Marko Dano -- Jack Roslovic -- Brandon Tanev 

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Dustin Byfuglien

Joe Morrow -- Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Eric Comrie

Scratched: Shawn Matthias, Tucker Poolman 

Injured: Adam Lowry (upper body), Steve Mason (lower body), Mark Scheifele (upper body), Dmitry Kulikov (lower body), Matt Hendricks (lower body) Toby Enstrom (lower body), Michael Hutchinson (concussion)


Status report

Hendricks will miss 6-8 weeks with a lower body injury. .. Hutchinson's concussion is his second of the season. … Scheifele and Lowry will practice in full on Saturday. 


Stat pack

The Jets lost seven players to the injured list on their just-completed six-game road trip. ...Toews has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past six games.

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