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Islanders at Blackhawks preview

New York 1-2-1 in past four; Chicago goalie Lehner to face former team for first time

by Brandon Cain / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (23-9-3) at BLACKHAWKS (15-17-6)

8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Robin Lehner will face the New York Islanders for the first time since signing with the Chicago Blackhawks when they meet at United Center on Friday.

A finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL last season, Lehner signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Blackhawks on July 1. He's 9-6-4 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 21 games (19 starts) this season for Chicago, 3-2-0 in its past five games following a four-game winning streak.

The Islanders are 1-2-1 in their past four games after going 4-1-0 in their previous five games.

 

Players to watch

Islanders center Mathew Barzal has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game goal/point streak.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past six games and is one goal from tying Denis Savard (377) for fourth place on Chicago's all-time list.

 

They said it

"He's a really good goalie. It's going to be a tough test for us tonight because I know he's going to be on his game." -- Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk on facing former teammate, Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner

"I don't want to let some of these guys score on me. I've been pretty good against former teams, so hopefully I'll keep that going today." -- Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Josh Bailey -- Brock Nelson -- Michael Dal Colle

Anthony Beauvillier -- Derick Brassard -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Leo Komarov

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Ross Johnston

Injured: Cal Clutterbuck (wrist)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Dominik Kubalik -- Jonathan Toews -- John Quenneville

Alex Nylander -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Kirby Dach -- Ryan Carpenter

Zack Smith -- David Kampf -- Matthew Highmore

Duncan Keith -- Erik Gustafsson

Slater Koekkoek -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Dennis Gilbert

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Dylan Sikura

Injured: Adam Boqvist (right shoulder), Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Brandon Saad (right ankle), Brent Seabrook (right shoulder/left and right hip), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol)

 

Status report

Mayfield is in for Dobson after being out Monday with the flu. … New York returned forward Andrew Ladd to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League after he had a team-high five hits in 9:53 during a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. … Koekkoek will play his first game since Dec. 8. … Boqvist's injury is minor, Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. 

 

Stat pack

Lee has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Eberle has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 26 games against Chicago. … The Blackhawks are 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in their past four games. … Keith needs one goal for 100 in the NHL.

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