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Blackhawks vs. Blues preview: Nick Schmaltz gets top-line opportunity in St. Louis

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The 2014 first-round pick will skate alongside Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Schmaltz will skate on the top line alongside center Jonathan Toews and winger Patrick Kane when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Schmaltz, the 2014 first-round pick for Chicago, finished Sunday’s game on the top line after replacing Richard Panik. The North Dakota product has one goal and two assists in 13 career NHL games. Playing on the top line with Kane and Toews should certainly increase his opportunity to add to those numbers.

The Hawks (9-3-1) come into the game as one of, if not the, hottest teams in the league, winning six consecutive games. Chicago rallied to beat Dallas in overtime Sunday. A key to that success is coach Joel Quenneville pairing Kane and Toews together since the start of the streak. Kane has three goals and five assists while Toews has chipped in four goals and four assists during the recent run.

Artem Anisimov recorded a point in Sunday’s win to extend his career-high point streak to 11 games. The 28-year-old Russian is atop the league in scoring in a four-way tie with eight goals and 17 points on the season.

Corey Crawford will start in net for Chicago. He has won his last three starts, allowing a combined three goals.

St. Louis (7-4-2) won the first meeting this season in the Hawks’ season opener in Chicago, 5-2. Star winger Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice to rally the Blues from a 2-1 deficit. Tarasenko leads the Blues in scoring with five goals and 11 points in 13 games.

The Blues are coming off a 5-1 win over Colorado. With offensive support, Jake Allen settled in the crease and made 22 saves to hold the Avs scoreless on six power-plays. Allen is expected to start against Chicago.

The Blues will make one lineup change, with Petteri Lindbohm, recalled from Chicago of the AHL, replacing defenseman Joel Edmundson, who was played on injured reserve Monday because of an upper-body injury.

For more on the Stars, check out St. Louis Game Time.

Lineups

Blackhawks

Forwards

Nick Schmaltz — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin — Artem Anisimov — Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman — Marcus Kruger— Richard Panik
Andrew DesjardinsDennis RasmussenJordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Duncan KeithBrian Campbell
Michal Kempny — Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling — Niklas Hjalmarsson

Goalie

Corey Crawford

Blues

Forwards

Jaden SchwartzJori Lehtera — Vladimir Tarasenko
Alex Steen — Patrik BerglundDavid Perron
Robby FabbriPaul StastnyDmitrij Jaskin
Scott Upshall — Kyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Defensemen

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Petteri Lindbohm - Colton Parayko

Goalies

Jake Allen

How to watch Blackhawks at Blues

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis

Time: 7 p.m. CT

TV: NBCSN