Chicago recalled Dach, who was selected third overall in this year’s NHL draft, from the AHL on Friday after a six-day conditioning assignment where the forward recorded seven shots in three games with the Rockford IceHogs. It was his first game action since Sept. 10 when he suffered a concussion during the seventh-place game in the NHL Prospect tournament in Traverse City, Michigan.
Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton didn’t say during Sunday morning’s optional skate where Dach will slot into the lineup. Dach will be the first Chicago first-rounder to make his NHL debut in the year he was drafted since Patrick Kane in 2007. The Blackhawks will have up to nine NHL games to decide whether to keep Dach and use the first year of his entry-level contract or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL for his contract to slide to next season.
Dach’s debut comes on a busy Chicago sports day with three big events happening earlier in the day. There are two PWHPA Dream Gap Tour games at the Blackhawks’ practice facility, Fifth Third Arena, followed by the NWSL’s Red Stars playing in their fifth consecutive playoff semifinal by hosting Portland Thorns FC in Bridgeview and the NFL’s Bears returning from a bye week to host the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field.
Chicago (2-2-1) and Washington (5-2-2) are both coming off back-to-back wins. The Blackhawks topped the Oilers and Blue Jackets, while the Capitals outscored the Maple Leafs and Rangers by a combined 9-5 margin.
T.J. Oshie scored twice against New York to increase his season goal total to six, and former Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny tallied a first-period goal in his return after missing six months with a torn hamstring. Fellow blue liner John Carlson leads the Capitals in scoring this season with 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in nine games.
The Blackhawks will turn to Corey Crawford in net over Robin Lehner, who made 37 saves in Chicago’s 3-2 overtime win over Columbus on Friday. Crawford holds a 3.61 goals-against average in 10 career games against the Capitals.
The Capitals will have Braden Holtby between the pipes. Holtby is 8-3 with a 2.88 GAA in 12 games against the Blackhawks.
Last season, the home teams won each contest in the two-game series. Kane (two goals, three assists) and Toews (three goals, two assists) led the Blackhawks in scoring, while Matt Niskanen (one goal, two assists) did the same for Washington. The two teams split a pair of preseason games with the home side again winning each one.
Tale of the tape
Blackhawks — Statistic — Capitals
46.0% (27th) — Corsi For — 53.7% (6th)
48% (25th) — Faceoffs — 52.1% (8th)
3.00 (14th) — Goals per game — 3.44 (9th)
3.00 (17th) — Goals against per game — 3.11 (16th)
23.1% (13th) — Power play — 25% (10th)
70.6% (28th) — Penalty kill — 83.3% (11th)
DeBrincat- Toews - Shaw
Strome - Dach - Kane
Saad - Kampf - Kubalik
Caggiula - Carpenter - Nylander
Keith — Murphy
Maatta — Seabrook
De Haan — Gustafsson
Ovechkin — Backstrom — Oshie
Hagelin — Kuznetsov — Wilson
Vrana — Eller — Hathaway
Leipsic — Dowd — Stephenson
Siegenthaler — Carlson
Orlov — Jensen
Kempny — Gudas
How to watch
When: 6 p.m.
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app