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Jets at Blackhawks preview

Lehner, de Haan to debut for Chicago; Laine looks to stay hot for Winnipeg

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

JETS (3-2-0) at BLACKHAWKS (0-2-0)

7 p.m. ET; SN1, NBCSCH, NHL.TV 


The Game

Robin Lehner will start in his Chicago Blackhawks debut against the Winnipeg Jets at United Center on Saturday.

The goalie, who was 25-13-5 with a 2.13 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and six shutouts in 46 games (43 starts) with the New York Islanders last season, signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on July 1.

Calvin de Haan will also play his first game for Chicago. The defenseman, acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on June 24, missed the Blackhawks' first two games because of a groin injury.

Chicago looks to avoid its worst start since it began the 1997-98 season 0-7-0.

Jets forward Patrik Laine has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in a five-game point streak to start the season. Winnipeg is going for its third straight win. 


Players to watch

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 32 games against Winnipeg.

Jets center Mark Scheifele has five assists in his past two games.


They said it

"We definitely have to tighten it up. Again, it's time to stop making excuses. We've got to do our assignments, we've got to take care of the puck. We've got to tighten it up. We've got to start boxing out and playing a little bit more of a team game." -- Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner

"We know their group. We've played them enough … we know what it takes to win. It's going to be a grinder but I think we're prepared for that. This group's only going to grow and it's only going to get better from here." -- Jets forward Kyle Connor on facing Chicago


Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Andrew Copp -- Nikolaj Ehlers

Gabriel Bourque -- Adam Lowry -- Mark Letestu

Mathieu Perreault -- Jack Roslovic -- Mason Appleton

Josh Morrissey -- Neal Pionk

Carl Dahlstrom -- Tucker Poolman

Anthony Bitetto -- Dmitry Kulikov

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: David Gustafsson, Ville Heinola

Injured: Bryan Little (concussion), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Suspended: Dustin Byfuglien


Blackhawks projected lineup

Alex DeBrincat -- Jonathan Toews -- Drake Caggiula

Andrew Shaw -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Brendan Perlini

Duncan Keith -- Connor Murphy

Olli Maatta -- Brent Seabrook

Calvin de Haan -- Erik Gustafsson

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Alexander Nylander, Slater Koekkoek

Injured: None


Status report

The Jets assigned defenseman Sami Niku to Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Friday. … Winnipeg did not have a morning skate Saturday. ... Center Kirby Dach (concussion) was activated off injured reserve and sent to Rockford of the American Hockey League for conditioning.


Stat pack

Winnipeg has won five straight against Chicago. … Wheeler has five points (three goals, two assists) this season. … Gustafsson has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in eight games against the Jets.

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