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Blackhawks to test top line against Red Wings in preseason

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Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be in action.

NHL: Preseason-Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks will have their first look at potential new top line against a opponent Thursday night when they visit the Detroit Red Wings in preseason action at Little Caesars Arena.

Jonathan Toews remains the Hawks’ top center, while second-year player Alex DeBrincat moves up to the top forward grouping and veteran free agent signee Chris Kunitz enters the fold. DeBrincat, who turns 21 in December, was the team’s leading goal-scorer last season with 28 tallies. The soon-to-be 39-year-old Kunitz is coming off a 29-point (13 goals, 16 assists) season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Prior to his time with Tampa Bay, Kunitz spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Brandon Saad, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane are expected to be Chicago’s second line. Goaltenders Anton Forsberg and Kevin Lankinen will split time in net for the Hawks.

Chicago will also have some young players on the blueline with this year’s first-round picks of Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin.

Chicago is 0-1 this preseason after dropping their opener 4-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Alexandre Fortin scored the Hawks’ lone goal, while Cam Ward stopped 13 of 15 shots in net.

The Red Wings won their first preseason game 3-2 in overtime against Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Trevor Hamilton and Jussi Jokinen found the back of the net for Detroit in regulation, and Michael Rasmussen tallied the game-winner in overtime.

Detroit’s first-rounder Filip Zadina, who grew up a Hawks and Kane fan, will skate with Andreas Athanasiou and Thomas Vanek.

Lineups

Blackhawks

Red Wings

How to watch

Start time: 6:30 p.m. Central

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

TV: WGN