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Blackhawks vs. Ducks game preview 2016: Artemi Panarin will play

Chicago looks to avoid dropping its third straight game.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Artemi Panarin will return to the ice after missing two games due to an illness when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday at United Center.

The Blackhawks (36-18-4) offense has struggled in his absence, the Sharks shut out the Hawks on Tuesday and while the Hawks scored two goals on Thursday, both of them did not come until the Hawks trailed 4-0 to the Stars. The 24-year-old who plays alongside Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, is second on the team with 52 points to lead all rookies.

Anisimov scored the game-winner Nov. 27 in Anaheim after Jonathan Toews scored in a 1-0 victory over the Ducks on Oct. 26, their first meeting this season. Saturday's game marks the return of Ryan Garbutt to Chicago, who was traded to Anaheim in exchange for Jiri Sekac.

Corey Crawford has stopped 62 of 64 shots against Anaheim this season, but is coming off a rough start allowing four goals in the first period. Scott Darling replaced him in the second and stopped every shot he faced.

The Blackhawks haven't dropped three straight since Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

Chicago held an optional skate Saturday morning. Michal Rozsival and Viktor Svedberg were reported to be playing, while Trevor Van Riemsdyk or rookie Erik Gustafsson will be a healthy scratch.

Projected lines:



Opponent Breakdown

Ducks | Record: 26-19-8 | 60 points | 3rd in Pacific Division

The Ducks have lost two of three to start their seven-game road trip. They haven't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 21 and 22 before the Christmas break.

Corey Perry paces the offense with 21 goals, but was held without a point Tuesday. He tallied three goals in last spring's playoff series, but only has two assists this season against Chicago. Since being acquired from Chicago, Ryan Garbutt has found his offensive touch on the Ducks' fourth line. Garbutt has posted four points in his first eight games with the Ducks.

Frederik Andersen has been a key to Anaheim's resurgence this season. Andersen is 6-0-2 with a 1.72 goals-against average in 2016, while John Gibson is 5-4-0 with a 2.83 GAA.

Projected lines:




Blackhawks: Marcus Kruger

Ducks: Clayton Stoner, Chris Stewart

How to watch

When: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago