Chicago is coming off a 3-1 home victory over the Wild on Sunday behind a season-high 39-save performance from Corey Crawford. He has allowed only two regulation goals in the past three games and was named the NHL’s second star of the week Monday.
Crawford is expected to start against the Capitals. He holds a 3-4-2 career record with a 3.54 goals-against average and .884 save percentage against Washington.
At the other end, Braden Holtby is likely to start after making 22 saves in relief of Phoenix Copley in the Capitals’ 5-4 overtime win over the Canadiens on Monday. Montreal scored three goals in 75 seconds to chase Copley and force Holtby into action after missing three games.
Holtby isn’t the only Capitals player dealing with an injury as forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie, who both took hits to the head Wednesday night against the Jets, will not play against the Blackhawks. With those two out, Brett Connolly and Lars Eller jump into the top-six on the second line with Jakub Vrana. Connolly and Eller have 11 points each this season.
Veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik, who had missed 10 games, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will miss 4-6 weeks. Madison Bowey has filled in for Orpik and posted three assists in his last five contests. The 23-year-old Bowey played in 51 games as a rookie last season but wasn’t on the Capitals’ Stanley Cup playoffs roster.
It’s the first meeting of the season series between Chicago and Washington. The two teams went 1-1 last season, with the Blackhawks winning 7-1 at home and falling 6-2 in Washington, D.C. They’ll play again Jan. 20 in Chicago.
Saad — Toews — Kane
Schmaltz — Anisimov — DeBrincat
Fortin — Kampf — Kahun
Hayden — Kruger — Martinsen
Keith — Seabrook
Gustafsson — Jokiharju
Forsling — Rutta/Manning
Ovechkin — Backstrom — Wilson
Vrana — Eller — Connolly
Burakovsky — Boyd — Smith-Pelly
Jaskin — Dowd — Stephenson
Kempny — Carlson
Orlov — Niskanen
Djoos — Bowey
How to Watch
Time: 6 p.m., Central
Location: Capital One Arena; Washington, D.C.