The Blackhawks will host a pregame ceremony for Keith, who has played his entire career with the organization since being drafted in the second round in 2002. The 35-year-old has won three Stanley Cups (2010, ’13, ’15), two Norris trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman (’10, ’14) and the 2015 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Keith ranks sixth all-time in franchise history in games played. Bob Murray (1,008) is next on the list, while teammate Brent Seabrook (1,009) ranks fourth. Both Seabrook and Keith are expected to move into second and third all-time, respectively, this season. Stan Mikita (1,396) and Bobby Hull (1,036) hold the top two spots.
Chicago enters Saturday’s game with back-to-back overtime losses to Toronto and at Minnesota. The Blackhawks look to bounce back after Thursday night’s 4-3 loss to the Wild when they held the lead with 30 seconds left in the third period only to see Cam Ward surrender the tying goal with 23 seconds remaining and another in overtime.
Ward will make his fifth consecutive start Saturday night as backup goaltender Anton Forsberg waits on the bench.
In order to provide a jolt to the offense, coach Joel Quenneville as demoted winger Brandon Saad from the second line down to the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and David Kampf. Alexandre Fortin, who made his NHL debut Thursday, moved up to the second line with Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane.
Saad said he doesn't have an issue moving down the lineup. "I think it's just having balance throughout the team. We have a lot of good players. Just because I'm in that role, we want to play well defensively, but also I think we can contribute with a lot of offensive plays too."— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 12, 2018
Schmaltz will play against his older brother, Jordan, for the first time in his NHL career. Jordan was on the Blues’ roster for three of the four games between the teams last season. He was injured for two games and a healthy scratch in the third. He was also a healthy scratch for Chicago’s 5-4 overtime victory last week. The Schmaltz brothers were both first-round picks and played two seasons together at the University of North Dakota.
Meanwhile, the Blue are riding high after their first win of the season — a 5-3 victory over the Flames — on Thursday thanks to David Perron’s hat trick and three assists from Brayden Schenn.
On Saturday, St. Louis might be without forward Jaden Schwartz, who suffered a lower-body injury in the win.
The Blackhawks hold a 1-0 lead in the season series after Jonathan Toews’ lifted Chicago to a 5-4 overtime victory Oct. 6 in St. Louis. Chicago was 0-2 last season against the Blues at the United Center.
Blackhawks lines— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 12, 2018
Defenseman pairings— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 12, 2018
Fri lines: Maroon-O'Reilly-Tarasenko; Blais-Schenn-Perron; Steen-Bozak-Kyrou; Barbashev-Thomas-Thorburn— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 12, 2018
And on defense: Edmundson-Pietrangelo; Bouwmeester-Parayko: Schmaltz-Bortuzzo; Dunn-Gunnarsson.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 12, 2018
How to watch
Start time: 7:30 p.m. Central
Location: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago