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Blackhawks vs. Coyotes game preview 2016: Jonathan Toews returns from suspension

Chicago looks to clinch season series against Arizona.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

After earning a post-All-Star break victory without Jonathan Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks will have their captain back centering the top line.

Toews, who returns from a one-game suspension, looks to aid Chicago (34-16-4) as they look for back-to-back road victories when they visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night at Gila River Arena.

Teuvo Teravainen skated in Toews' spot on the top line and recorded no points in a 2-1 victory over Central Division foe Colorado. Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin had first-period goals to lead the Western Conference leaders to their first road victory in four tries.

Corey Crawford will start in net. He struggled in the first matchup this season at Arizona, giving up five goals in a 7-5 victory. Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane, who leads the league in scoring, each had a goal and two assists while Andrew Desjardins scored twice and Toews added an empty-netter. Three of those goals came on the power play for Chicago. Arizona's Shane Doan recorded a hat trick, but hasn't registered a point in three straight games.

Projected lines:



Opponent Breakdown

Coyotes | Record: 24-21-5 | 53 points | 4th in Pacific Division

No one believed Arizona would be in the playoff picture at this point in the season, but here they are. The Coyotes finished with just 56 points, the fewest in the Western Conference a season ago. They've already surpassed that total through 50 games and are in fourth place in the Pacific Division just behind Anaheim.

Arizona is coming off a 6-2 loss to Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles. The Coyotes held a 2-1 lead, but saw the Kings scored five unanswered goals to rally for the win.

Mikkel Boedker and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson pace the team with 34 points, while Max Domi is one point behind. Domi's 33 points ties him for third among league rookies with Detroit's Dylan Larkin.

Arizona also is young in net with 23-year-old rookie Louis Domingue. The goaltender has posted a 6-3-2 record with a 2.20 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 11 appearances last month. He is filling in for the injured Mike Smith along side Anders Lindback.

Projected lines:


Ekman Larsson-Murphy


Blackhawks: Marcus Kruger, Michal Rozsival

Coyotes: Jarred Tinordi, Mike Smith, Joe Vitale, Dylan Reese, Chris Pronger

How to watch

When: 8 p.m. CT

Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ariz.

TV: CSN Chicago