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Blue Jackets at Blackhawks preview

Columbus eyes third consecutive victory; Lehner to make second start for Chicago

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (3-3-0) at BLACKHAWKS (1-2-1)

8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets will look for their third straight win when they play the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Friday.

Backup goalie Elvis Merzlikins will start for Columbus. The rookie allowed seven goals on 40 shots in a 7-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins in his NHL debut on Oct. 5.

Goalie Robin Lehner will make his second start for the Blackhawks. He made 30 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets in his Chicago debut on Saturday.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg has three points (one goal, two assists) in the past two games.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 44 games against the Blue Jackets.


They said it

"[The Dallas Stars] had 18 [scoring] chances throughout the game. Eight of those were in the last five minutes of the first period. We just sat there and watched. We thought it was going to be an easy game. They have too many good players. We get to see [goalie Joonas] Korpisalo make some really big saves for us during that time in that first period and throughout the game. That's really good to see. -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on their 3-2 win Wednesday

"It's an important game for us to build off some better performances, and we've got a lot of games coming up. So we'd like our game to be in a good place where we're giving ourselves a chance to win every night. We're not going to have as much practice time as we've had, so looking to see us start the game on time and give ourselves a chance to win." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno -- Boone Jenner -- Emil Bemstrom

Jakob Lilja -- Riley Nash -- Sonny Milano

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray -- Markus Nutivaara

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Elvis Merzlikins

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, Markus Hannikainen

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Josh Anderson (upper body)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex DeBrincat -- Jonathan Toews -- Drake Caggiula

Andrew Shaw -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Alexander Nylander

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Brent Seabrook

Calvin de Haan -- Erik Gustafsson

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Brendan Perlini, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: None


Status report

Anderson practiced Thursday for the first time since he was injured Oct. 5 and also participated in Columbus' optional morning skate Friday. 


Stat pack

Jenner needs one point for 200 in the NHL. … Bjorkstrand needs one point for 100. … Saad has three points (two goals, one assist) during a three-game point streak, including goals in back-to-back games. … Toews has 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games against the Blue Jackets.

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