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Preview: Capitals at Blackhawks

Artem Anisimov of Chicago out with injury; Washington goalie Braden Holtby eager to face counterpart Corey Crawford

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (8-3-1) at BLACKHAWKS (10-3-1)

8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV

 

Capitals team scope

Goaltender Braden Holtby is expected to start for the Washington Capitals, who will play the first of back-to-back games Friday. The Capitals play at the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Holtby is looking forward to a matchup against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, whom he played with for Team Canada in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. "It was great to watch him play in practice and work with him," Holtby said. "He works really hard and has a lot of good things, good traits, that I can get better at in my game. It'll be fun to play against him tonight." The Capitals, who had a five-game winning streak end with a 3-0 loss against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, will have defenseman Taylor Chorney in the lineup for the first time. Chorney has been a healthy scratch for all 12 games this season, and likely will enter the lineup in place of Nate Schmidt. "It's long overdue," coach Barry Trotz said after the morning skate at United Center. "He's a great pro and deserves to be in there, so I'm going to get him in." Washington is 4-1-1 on the road and has won its past three games away from Verizon Center, the final games of a trip through Western Canada at the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

 

Blackhawks team scope 

Center Artem Anisimov, tied for second place in the NHL in scoring with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists), will not play because of an upper-body injury sustained in the Blackhawks' seventh straight win, a 2-1 overtime victory at the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. "He's had a great start to the season," said right wing Patrick Kane, tied with Anisimov for second in the League as well as the Blackhawks scoring lead (five goals, 12 assists). "If he's missing, someone else has to step up and fill that role." Marcus Kruger will get the first opportunity. He'll center the second line between left wing Artemi Panarin and right wing Marian Hossa on Friday. Kruger is primarily a defensive center, but will be asked to contribute more offensively. "[Kruger] has still got offensive instincts and he does think that way," coach Joel Quenneville said, "but I think his best approach is keep the puck above him and try to get the cycle and sustain some offensive zone time." Rookie forward Vinnie Hinostroza will enter the lineup and center the fourth line. Crawford, who has allowed six goals in his past six starts, will try for his seventh straight win. He's 7-3-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average in 11 starts this season.

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Justin Williams

Zachary Sanford -- Jay Beagle -- Daniel Winnik

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitri Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Brett Connolly

Injured: none

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Marcus Kruger -- Marian Hossa

Andrew Desjardins -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Richard Panik

Ryan Hartman -- Vinnie Hinostroza -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell

Gustav Forsling -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Artem Anisimov (upper body)

 

Status report

There is a good chance Anisimov will return to the Blackhawks lineup for a game against the Montreal Canadiens at United Center on Sunday, Quenneville said. … Hinostroza was scratched the past four games. … Schmidt is likely to be scratched for the first time this season by the Capitals.

 

Who's hot

Panarin, who has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 14 games this season, has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past seven games, including a goal and an assist against the Blues on Wednesday. … Kane has three goals and five assists in his past five games. … Ovechkin has three goals and three assists in Washington's past four games.

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