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Maple Leafs at Blackhawks preview

Toronto, without Marner, tries to extend point streak to six games; Lehner in goal for Chicago

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (9-5-4) at BLACKHAWKS (5-7-4)



The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without forward Mitchell Marner as they try to extend their point streak to six games when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday.

Toronto, 3-0-2 in its past five games after going 2-3-1 in its previous six, won't have Marner after he left in the second period of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday with an ankle injury. Marner is second on the Maple Leafs in scoring with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 18 games.

Chicago, 2-1-2 in its past five games after going 1-4-1 in its previous five, is also playing the second of a back-to-back set. The Blackhawks lost 3-2 in a shootout at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.


Players to watch

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak after having one assist in his previous five games.


They said it

"I thought the first about six minutes we were all over the place, then we seemed to settle in and get playing. I actually thought it was a good hockey game up and down the rink; we had opportunity, they had opportunity. Unfortunate they got the second point and we didn't." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on a 3-2 shootout loss to the Flyers

"We took a step [forward]. It was one of our better games we've played, tough rink and tough opponent. To really move it forward, the team needs to be rewarded for those efforts. We went through a stretch like that earlier in the year when we played well and didn't get the win and that wears on you." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton on a 3-2 shootout loss at Pittsburgh


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Andreas Johnsson -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Trevor Moore -- John Tavares -- Jason Spezza

Ilya Mikheyev -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Kasperi Kapanen

Dmytro Timashov -- Nicholas Shore -- Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly -- Cody Ceci

Jake Muzzin -- Tyson Barrie

Travis Dermott -- Justin Holl

Michael Hutchinson

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Martin Marincin

Injured: Zach Hyman (ACL), Mitchell Marner (ankle)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex Nylander -- Jonathan Toews -- Brandon Saad

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Drake Caggiula -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Kirby Dach -- Andrew Shaw

Adam Boqvist -- Duncan Keith

Calvin de Haan -- Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta -- Erik Gustafsson

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: Connor Murphy (groin)


Status report

Marner did not make the trip to Chicago. Coach Mike Babcock said before the game that Marner had an MRI on Sunday but that he had no further update.


Stat pack

Five of the past six games between the teams have been decided in overtime or a shootout. … William Nylander has four points (two goals, two assists) in Toronto's past three games. … Strome has three assists in his past two games.

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