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Blackhawks vs. Islanders preview: Kris Versteeg in, Daniel Carcillo out

Former 'Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy won't be in as Chicago host the struggling Islanders.

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Versteeg will play after he wasn't skating on the top four lines during Monday's practice as the Chicago Blackhawks host the struggling New York Islanders on Tuesday at the United Center.

The Blackhawks are 4-0-1 this month, including back-to-back wins on the road in Arizona, 2-1, and San Jose, 6-2. Chicago is 21-9-5 at home this season. The Blackhawks have dropped two straight against the Islanders after winning the previous three meetings in the series. New York earned a 3-2 home win over Chicago on Dec. 13, but Chicago has won three straight at home against the Islanders.

Versteeg struggled on the top line in Saturday's afternoon game against San Jose. Patrick Sharp, who scored two goals, played on that same top line on Saturday and practiced both days since with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Daniel Carcillo skated on the third line with Bryan Bickell and Brad Richards, after Versteeg left the ice. Carcillo will be a healthy scratch.

Corey Crawford will start against the Islanders, and Coach Joel Quenneville did not rule out Crawford playing the second half of the back-to-back against the New York teams on Wednesday, when the Blackhawks drop the puck against the New York Rangers.

Sharp Toews Hossa
Saad Vermette Teravainen
Bickell Richards Versteeg
Desjardins Kruger Shaw

Opponent Breakdown: New York Islanders

The Islanders have lost three straight and their fourth 0-3-0 stretch this season. Their skid began with a 2-1 loss to in-city rival New York Rangers. New York dropped the next two games of their homestand, a 2-1 loss to Ottawa on Friday and 3-1 the next night to Montreal.

Josh Bailey scored the lone Islanders' goal against Montreal. The Islanders sit two points ahead of Pittsburgh for second place and four ahead of Washington.

Former Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Nick Leddy will not play as he has not skated since suffering an upper-body injury on March 9. Leddy has 10 goals and 19 assists in 68 games. The only Islanders' defenseman with more points than Leddy is his lineman, Johnny Boychuk with 32 points (seven goals, 25 assists), including 14 on the man advantage.

The Islanders offense is led by captain John Tavares, who has a team-high 33 goals and 39 assists. His 72 points ranks atop the NHL. As Tavares goes, so do the Islanders. Tavares hasn't tallied a point in his last three games.

Islanders' No. 1 netminder Jaroslav Halak is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, Michal Neuvirth is expected to start tonight. Neuvirth made 27 saves against Montreal.

Injury Report

ChicagoPatrick Kane (collarbone)

New York: Jaroslav Halak (lower-body), Nick Leddy (upper-body) and Mikhail Grabovski (concussion).

Game Information

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center


Radio: WGN-720

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