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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Kraken (9:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

For the first time ever, the Seattle Kraken and Chicago Blackhawks will square-off. Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season, the Kraken are off to a less-than stellar start at 4-10-1. Not that the Blackhawks are doing much better at 4-9-2, but they have won their last three games in-a-row, while Seattle has dropped their last four. Chicago is 16-8-4 all time in their first matchup against an expansion team dating back to 1926 when the Blackhawks joined the league. Tonight is the first of a four-game road trip for the Blackhawks on the West Coast, so get those pregame naps in before the late Central Time puck drops this week.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. CT
TV: TNT
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (4-9-2)

DeBrincat – Dach – Kane
Kubalík – Toews – Khaira
Borgström – Strome – Gaudette
Kurashev – Carpenter – R. Johnson
*Hardman (Game-time decision)

de Haan – S. Jones
McCabe – Murphy
Stillman – Gustafsson
*C. Jones (Game-time decision)

Fleury

Kraken (4-10-1)

Schwartz – Wennberg – Eberle
Johansson – McCann – Järnkrok
Tanev – Gourde – Blackwell
Donato – Geekie – Donskoi

Fleury – Giordano
Lauzon – Oleksiak
Dunn – Larsson

Grubauer

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Caleb Jones (Week-to-Week – Wrist)
Brandon Hagel (Day-to-Day – Shoulder)
MacKenzie Entwistle (Week-to-Week – Ankle)
Tyler Johnson (Day-to-Day – Neck)

Kraken:

Mason Appleton (Day-to-Day – Lower Body)

What To Watch For

•   Marc-André Fleury gets the start tonight for Chicago. He has won his last two appearances for the Blackhawks and has posted a .955 save-percentage in those two starts. He, along with Kevin Lankinen, have been instrumental in the three-game win-streak that Chicago is currently riding into Seattle. Fleury will have his work cut-out for him against a Kraken team that ranks tenth in the NHL is Shots-For% (52.78), fourth in Scoring Chances-For% (54.45), and leads the league in High-Danger Scoring Chances-For% (55.90) at all strengths this season.

•   While the Kraken are having success this season creating scoring chances this season, their downfall has been finishing them and goaltending. Seattle ranks last in the NHL in High-Danger Save% (.714) and overall Save% (.859) at all strengths this season. The Kraken, at 0.955, are only ahead of the Arizona Coyotes (0.944) this season for overall PDO. Of 42 goalies to play at least six games this season, Phillip Grubauer, tonight’s starter for the Kraken, ranks last in save-percentage (.880) and 37th in GAA (3.18). Although, Marc-André Fleury ranks last in GAA this season (3.50).

•   Seth Jones enters tonight on a career-high six-game point streak. He has one goal and five assists over that span and is second on the Blackhawks in scoring this season with 13 points. He has at least one point in 10 of his last 11 games and his next goal or assist will be his 30oth point of his NHL career.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.