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Blackhawks vs Avalanche game preview: Crawford starts; Richards, Rozsival out

Chicago looks to snap Avs' 3-game win streak.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Corey Crawford will get the start while Brad Richards and Michal Rozsival will be out as the Chicago Blackhawks take on their Central Division foe the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at the Pepsi Center.

It is the third-straight game Richards will miss with an upper-body injury and the first for Rozsival since suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday against Winnipeg. Both players did not make the trip to Denver.

It is the second of five meetings this season between the two Central Division teams. Chicago skated away with a 3-2 victory in the first matchup on Nov. 26 in the Mile High City to snap Colorado's three-game series win streak. In that game, Patrick Kane had three assists, including a feed to Bryan Bickell for the game-winner.

The Blackhawks had an eight-game home winning streak snapped with a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Marian Hossa had the lone goal, while Corey Crawford allowed three goals on 13 shots before he was lifted in the first period.

Antti Raanta made 11 saves in relief as Chicago fell for the first time since Nov. 7 against the Washington Capitals, their 2015 Winter Classic opponent on New Year's Day.

It was just Crawford's second outing since he missed eight games with a lower-body injury. He has not faired well against Colorado, going 3-6-2 with a 3.22 goals-aginats average and .874 save percentage in 11 outings.

The Blackhawks lead the Central Division by two points over the upstart Nashville Predators, who they will host on Monday before traveling to the Washington.

Opponent Breakdown: Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche are on a season-high three-game win streak following a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Semyon Varlamov returned to the net and made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season.

It was his first game since Dec. 5 due to a groin injury.

Alex Tanguay and Ryan O'Reilly each scored a goal and added an assist for the Avalanche. Jarome Iginla, Zach Redmond and Erik Johnson also netted a goal.

Colorado lost forward Patrick Bordeleau again due to injury. After being out 31 games following offseason back surgery, he fractured his kneecap against the Sabers and will be out for at least two months.

Backup goaltender Calvin Pickard is expected to start. Pickard has gone 6-5-2 with a 2.06 GAA and .939 save percentage in 13 games (10 starts) this season. He gave up three goals on 45 shots in his only outing against the Blackhawks on Nov. 26 at home.

Injury Report

Chicago: Richards (upper-body) and Trevor vanRiemsdyk (knee)

Colorado: Bordeleau (kneecap), Ben Street (hand), Jamie McGinn (back), Ryan Wilson (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (concussion)

Game Information

When: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Pepsi Center


Radio: WGN-720

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