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Jonathan Toews to make preseason debut for Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

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The captain is playing Saturday night at the UC.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks will be rolling out a lineup full of veterans for a preseason home game against the Blue Jackets on Saturday night. If you’re looking to catch a game this month before the real action begins, this should be a good one.

Jonathan Toews will be making his preseason debut after sitting out Thursday due to illness. He was replaced by David Kampf in that game, but it didn’t stop Brandon Saad from putting up a hat trick on a Red Wings group full of fringe prospects and veterans on PTOs.

Columbus will be playing a bit more competitive of a roster than that, although Artemi Panarin will not be in the lineup this time. Instead, the key names worth watching include Alexander Wennberg, Zach Werenski, Joonas Korpisalo, and top prospect Vitaly Abramov.

With these preseason games, it’s been hard to make any grand conclusions. The NHL’s crackdown on faceoff violations and slashing have meant tons of penalties, and not as much time to evaluate players at 5-on-5. There are also games like the Red Wings one, where it’s hard to really get excited about the Hawks skating circles around minor leaguers.

There will hopefully be lots of goals just like the smackdown against Detroit, but more than anything, the goal with these games is to build chemistry and stay healthy. So far, so good.

Projected lineups

Blackhawks

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Richard Panik
Alex DeBrincat — Nick Schmaltz — Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp — Artem Anisimov — John Hayden
Alexandre Fortin — Tanner Kero — Tomas Jurco

Duncan Keith — Jan Rutta
Michal Kempny — Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling — Ville Pokka

Jean-Francois Berube
Anton Forsberg

Blue Jackets

Matt Calvert — Alexander Wennberg — Oliver Bjorkstrand
Alex Broadhurst — Calvin Thurkauf — Vitaly Abramov
Bobby MacIntyre — Lukas Sedlak — Nick Moutrey
Brett Gallant — Jordan Maletta — Miles Koules

Zach Werenski — Andre Benoit
Dean Kukan — Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray — Jacob Graves

Joonas Korpisalo
Brad Thiessen

How to watch Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: CSN Chicago