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Preview: Penguins at Blackhawks

Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang to miss third straight game; Johnny Oduya will sit for Chicago

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (38-15-8) at BLACKHAWKS (39-18-5)

8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Penguins team scope

The Pittsburgh Penguins added depth to their defense prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday, acquiring Mark Streit from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Frank Corrado from the Toronto Maple Leafs. "He's obviously a veteran guy," coach Mike Sullivan said of Streit. "He's played in the League a long time. He brings a puck-moving ability to his game, we can use him on the power play. Mark's a good player. With some of the injuries we have, I think [the front office] was looking to try to improve our depth on defense, so that we have the best chance to succeed moving forward." Pittsburgh is tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the Washington Capitals for first in the division and Eastern Conference. The Penguins are looking to salvage a split of a back-to-back set that began with a 3-2 loss at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Defenseman Kris Letang will miss his third straight game with an upper-body injury. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will start. Defenseman Derrick Pouliot was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old is expected to draw into the lineup.

 

Blackhawks team scope

Defenseman Johnny Oduya, reacquired by the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade with the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, will not play but could be in the lineup against the New York Islanders on Friday. Oduya, 35, has played one game since coming off an ankle injury that sidelined him for 15 games, but the Blackhawks will be cautious with him. "We want to make sure he's more than ready when he plays his first game here," coach Joel Quenneville said. "So, he gets in today, get him on the ice, get a better evaluation, see how he is and where he's at." Oduya is expected to form a defense pair with Niklas Hjalmarsson, who will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury. Hjalmarsson also is out for Chicago's two remaining games this week. Goalie Scott Darling will make his second straight start in place of Corey Crawford, who missed a 4-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Crawford has recovered from his illness, but Quenneville made the decision to go with Darling after he played well against St. Louis. Chicago has won four games in a row and is 9-1-0 in its past 10.

 

Penguins projected lineup

Chris Kunitz -- Sidney Crosby -- Jake Guentzel

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeni Malkin -- Patric Hornqvist

Scott Wilson -- Nick Bonino -- Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Carter Rowney

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Cameron Gaunce -- Justin Schultz

Ian Cole -- Derrick Pouliot

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel

Injured: Kris Letang (upper body), Olli Maatta  (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Bryan Rust (upper body), Conor Sheary (upper body)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Tomas Jurco

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny -- Michal Rozsival

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Jordin Tootoo, Andrew Desjardins

Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body)

 

Status report

Sheary skated on his own in Pittsburgh and showed progress, Sullivan said, but Letang, also back in Pittsburgh, didn't skate and his status is unchanged. … The Blackhawks switched their bottom-six line combinations at practice Tuesday and will stick with them against the Penguins. Hartman and Kero were moved up to play with Hossa on the third line. Kruger and Jurgo moved down to the fourth line, where Rasmussen will draw back into the lineup after being scratched against the Blues.

 

Who's hot

Crosby has 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in his past 19 games. Malkin has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past seven games. ... Toews, who was named the NHL's First Star of the Month for February, has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in a six-game point streak. Kane has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games. … Panik has nine points (four goals, five assists) in a six-game point streak. Schmaltz has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak.

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