CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks will return to action after a five-day break to host the New York Islanders on Saturday night at the United Center.
Chicago (22-17-6) sputtered into its bye week with two losses in its past three games. The Blackhawks regrouped Friday with an afternoon practice and hope fresh legs and clear minds can rejuvenate the team.
“We’ve got a lot to think about over our break Will Dissly Super Bowl LI Jersey
,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said before players parted ways for the week. “Obviously, there’s a ton of hockey to go throughout the season.”
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New York (23-20-4) has lost back-to-back games after winning the previous three in a row. The Islanders favor an up-tempo playing style, as evidenced by their 161 goals scored (second-most in the NHL) and 173 goals allowed (most in NHL).
The Blackhawks remain without No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford, who is suffering from vertigo-like symptoms, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. Minus Crawford Marquez Valdes-Scantling Super Bowl LI Jersey
, Chicago has alternated between Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass in net.
Forsberg is 3-6-3 with a 2.92 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage this season. He is 0-2-0 with an unsightly 5.10 GAA and .872 save percentage in his career against the Islanders.
Glass is 3-2-1 with a 3.18 GAA and .910 save percentage. He never has faced New York.
Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak is expected to make his 29th start of the season. He is 13-14-2 with a 3.25 GAA and .905 save percentage. In 12 career games against the Blackhawks, he boasts a 7-1-3 record with a 2.06 GAA and a .930 save percentage.
Halak’s backup, Thomas Greiss, is 10-6-2 with a 3.89 GAA and .886 save percentage. In four career appearances against Chicago, he is 0-1-2 with a 3.50 GAA and .891 save percentage.
Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane leads the team with 45 points (18 goals Rick Leonard Super Bowl LI Jersey
, 27 assists) in 45 games. He is followed by Nick Schmaltz (12 goals, 20 assists) and Jonathan Toews (14 goals, 17 assists).
The Islanders are led by John Tavares, who has 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists) in 47 games. Josh Bailey also has surpassed the 50-point barrier this season with 12 goals and 39 assists in 43 games.
With 50 points Mason Cole Super Bowl LI Jersey
, the Islanders are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race.
“We’ve played some good hockey on the road as of late, we’ve got a couple wins and are starting to get a healthier lineup,” center Jordan Eberle said to the team’s official website. “We have three big games here before the All-Star break and we need six points. The way the standings are, these are huge points.”
The Islanders recalled forward Ross Johnston from the AHL on Friday. Neither Shane Prince (lower body) nor Andrew Ladd (upper body) will make the trip to Chicago. Meanwhile, Johnny Boychuk (lower body) and Casey Cizikas (upper body) are getting closer to returning but not ready yet.
“Ross is a big Da'Shawn Hand Super Bowl LI Jersey
, aggressive forward,” coach Doug Weight said to the team’s official site. “It’s something we’re lacking right now, I think. We’ll see if he’s going to be in or not. We have decisions to make.”
This is the first of two meetings between the teams during the regular season.
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