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Blackhawks visit reigning Stanley Cup champion Capitals

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Chicago begins a three-game road trip.

Chicago Blackhawks v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Blackhawks look to build their point streak to five games when they visit the reigning Stanley Cup champion Capitals on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena.

It’s the start of a three-game road trip for the Blackhawks, who travel to Florida to play a back-to-back against the Lightning and Panthers.

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.

Projected Lineups

Blackhawks

Saad — Toews — Kane

Schmaltz — Anisimov — DeBrincat

Fortin — Kampf — Kahun

Hayden — Kruger — Martinsen

Keith — Seabrook

Gustafsson — Jokiharju

Forsling — Rutta/Manning

Crawford

Ward

Capitals

Ovechkin — Backstrom — Wilson

Vrana — EllerConnolly

Burakovsky — Boyd — Smith-Pelly

Jaskin — Dowd — Stephenson

Kempny — Carlson

Orlov — Niskanen

Djoos — Bowey

Holtby

Copley

How to Watch

Time: 6 p.m., Central

Location: Capital One Arena; Washington, D.C.

TV: WGN