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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs. Islanders (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are back in action this evening, welcoming the Isles into the United Center. According to Jeremy Colliton at practice today, there’s a lot of urgency to play well tonight in the Chicago locker room.

Well, that’s good. I guess. But also … where was the urgency last week, when the team opened the season against a division rival considered a Stanley Cup contender? Or two days later, against a beatable New Jersey team after getting the doors blown off by the Avs? Or the next night against a banged-up Pittsburgh team while winless through two games?

I’ll believe it when I see it.

In addition to tonight being the home opener, the team will be honoring Blackhawks legend Tony Esposito. ESPN’s TV broadcast of the game will be showing the Tony Esposito pregame ceremony, and (!) Jonathan Toews will be mic’d up(!) for the game. That should be a lot of fun. Here’s to hoping Toews has some good things to say on the mic tonight.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN
Radio: WGN 720 AM, WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (0-2-1)

Hagel – Dach – Kane
Kubalík – Toews – Kurashev
DeBrincat – Borgström – Hardman
Entwistle – Johnson – Khaira

McCabe – Murphy
de Haan – Stillman
Gustafsson – Jones 

Fleury
Lankinen

Islanders (0-2-0)

Lee – Barzal – Palmieri
Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey
Parise – Pageau – Wahlstrom
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Pelech – Pulock
Chara – Dobson
Greene – Mayfield

Sorokin
Schneider 

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Wyatt Kalynuk (Day-to-Day – Ankle)
Caleb Jones (Week-to-Week – Wrist)

Islanders: 

Semyon Varlamov (Day-to-Day – Undisclosed)

What To Watch For

•   The Chicago Blackhawks are still searching for their first win this evening after a pair of regulation losses and an overtime loss has them starting down the barrel of an 0-2-1 record. The Islanders are winless, themselves, so we’ve got a battle of two teams still looking to get into the win column on our hands. Unfortunately, we’ve also got a battle of two teams that have played little-to-no defense whatsoever, with the Isles checking in tonight, allowing 5.50 goals against per game and the Blackhawks not doing much better at 4.33 goals against per game.

•   Jeremy Colliton did some line-shuffling ahead of tonight’s game, moving Tyler Johnson down to the fourth line with MacKenzie Entwistle and Jujhar Khaira. Colliton also placed Alex DeBrincat on the third line with Henrik Borgström and Mike Hardman and grouped Brandon Hagel and Kirby Dach with Patrick Kane on the top line. Jonathan Toews will center the second line with Dominik Kubalík and Philipp Kurashev as his wingers. Hopefully, the new lines will help the Blackhawks generate some 5-on-5 offense tonight.

•   The Isles announced this afternoon that they’d be getting Matt Martin back after Martin was listed as day-to-day as of this morning with an ankle injury. Martin will skate on the fourth line tonight with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. The veteran winger scored 11 points in 54 games for the Islanders last season.

Get Caught Up

 



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.