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Flyers at Blackhawks preview

Philadelphia, Chicago, each aims to gain in wild-card race

by Scott King / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (35-30-8) at BLACKHAWKS (32-30-10)

8:30 p.m. ET; WGN, NBCSP, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to gain ground on the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at United Center on Thursday.

Chicago, 5-0-1 in its past six games after going 1-4-0 in its previous five, is four points behind the Arizona Coyotes, who play the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Philadelphia, 1-3-0 in its past four games after going 6-1-1 in its previous eight, is six points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

Players to watch

Flyers center Sean Couturier has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past nine games and 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in his past 17.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is 5-0-1 with a .948 save percentage and a 1.74 goals-against average in his past six games.

 

They said it

"It gives us a lot of confidence. He's been great for us. I think our goaltending has been pretty good all year, to be honest with you. I don't know if we've given them much help with the way we've played in front of them, but he's been unbelievable. Even last game, he made some huge saves to keep us in the game and get that extra point and a big reason why we're 5-0-1 in our last six." -- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane on Corey Crawford

"It's kind of weird to think about it. It doesn't feel like too long ago, two seasons ago. It doesn't feel too far removed, but like I was saying earlier, it's always special to come back and play in this building." -- Flyers forward Ryan Hartman, who played for the Blackhawks from 2014-18, on returning to Chicago

 

Flyers projected lineup

Oskar Lindblom -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

James van Riemsdyk -- Nolan Patrick -- Claude Giroux

Justin Bailey -- Scott Laughton -- Travis Konecny

Phil Varone -- Corban Knight -- Ryan Hartman

Ivan Provorov -- Travis Sanheim

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Radko Gudas

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Cam Talbot, Andrew MacDonald, Samuel Morin

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Michael Raffl (illness)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Dylan Sikura -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Brendan Perlini

Brandon Saad -- Artem Anisimov -- Dominik Kahun

Chris Kunitz -- David Kampf -- Marcus Kruger

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Carl Dahlstrom -- Erik Gustafsson

Gustav Forsling -- Connor Murphy

Corey Crawford

Cam Ward

Scratched: John Hayden, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion)

 

Status report

Caggiula participated in the morning skate, but there isn't a timetable for his return. ... Bailey is in for Raffl, who did not participate in the morning skate because of illness.

 

Stat pack

Kane has 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in his past 30 games. … DeBrincat has 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his past 14 games. … Van Riemsdyk has 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in his past 12 games. … Giroux has 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in his past 12 games.

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