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Blackhawks vs. Oilers preview: Andrew Desjardins debut

Chicago will turn to Corey Crawford as they look for back-to-back wins.

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Corey Crawford will start in net and Andrew Desjardins will make his Chicago Blackhawks' debut when the Blackhawks' host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night at the United Center.

Crawford stopped 27 shots in Monday's 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He is 5-5-0 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in 12 meetings against the Oilers.

Monday's game marked the debut of a pair of recent acquisitions, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Antoine Vermette, but Jonathan Toews stole the show with two goals and an assist for Chicago's third victory in their last four games. Toews has now reached the 20-goal mark every year in his eight-year NHL career.

Desjardins, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Ben Smith on Monday, skated alongside Bryan Bickell and with Brad Richards centering the third line in each of the past two days practices. He will wear the No. 11 sweater. This means Teuvo Tervainen will be a healthy scratch.

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

Chicago had a five-game series winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss in Edmonton on Jan. 9 during their road trip to start the new year. Marian Hossa has a goal and five helpers in the two meetings, with Toews and Brandon Saad tallying a pair of goals and helpers.

Chicago enjoyed a night off Thursday by watching first-place Nashville and second-place St. Louis both fall. The Blackhawks sit in third-place four points back of St. Louis and seven from Nashville. They hold a four point lead over Minnesota.

Opponent Breakdown: Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton have dropped four of their past five games as they start a five-game road trip in Chicago.

Luke Gazdic and Teddy Purcell each scored and Ben Scrivens allowed all five goals on 29 shots in Edmonton's loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Edmonton sits in last place in the Western Conference with 46 points. They'll miss the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, but hey they're in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, Buffalo has 43 points.

With Taylor Hall out because of long-term injury Jordan Eberle has stepped up to produce offensively. Eberle leads the team with 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 63 games this season. The 2008 first-round pick had three assists in his last three games before he was held scoreless against the Kings.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins leads the team with 16 goals this season. In his fourth year as a pro, Nugent-Hopkins is just four goals shy of surpassing his career-high 19 goals in a season.

Scrivens is 1-2-0 with a 4.23 GAA and .865 save percentage in three meetings against the Blackhawks.

Injury Report

ChicagoJohnny Oduya (upper-body) and Patrick Kane (collarbone)

Edmonton: Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Anton Lander (shoulder) Viktor Fasth (knee), Taylor Hall (leg), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder) and Tyler Pitlick (spleen).

Game Information

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center


Radio: WGN-720

For Chicago Blackhawks tickets, check out Ticketmaster. Follow Second City Hockey on Twitter at @2ndCityHockey and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain.