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Blackhawks look to build momentum against Golden Knights

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Chicago is 0-5-2 in franchise history against Vegas.

Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ryan Carpenter will return to Vegas for the first time when the Blackhawks visit the Golden Knights on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Carpenter has five assists in 16 games for Chicago since signing a three-year deal in July. He set career highs in assists (13) and points (18) in 68 games last season with Vegas and was a healthy scratch during a first-round playoff series against San Jose that the Sharks won in seven games.

The Blackhawks enter Wednesday’s game still searching for their first win against the Golden Knights. Chicago is 0-5-2 in franchise history against Vegas after a 2-1 home shootout loss to the Golden Knights earlier this season. Every active NHL team that has faced Vegas holds a win over them except for the Blackhawks.

Chicago has alternated wins and losses during its past five games, with a 5-4 home victory over the Maple Leafs on Sunday in their last outing. The Blackhawks have opened things up lately with a puck-moving philosophy in transition, which works better for their roster. Against Toronto, Chicago scored four first-period goals then held on for the win. Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, while linemates Alex DeBrincat had three assists and Dylan Strome added two secondary assists on both of Kane’s goals.

The Blackhawks have only won back-to-back games once this season back in mid-October, when they defeated the Oilers 3-1 on Oct. 14 and the Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime Oct. 18. Chicago has struggled on the road with a 1-4-2 record.

This might be the best chance for Chicago to finally get a win over Vegas, who have lost three straight games. The Golden Knights have also scored only one third-period goal in their past five outings. Despite Vegas’ scoring woes in the third, they’re 8-1-1 when leading after two periods.

The Golden Knights have also struggled to stay out of the penalty box, with 10.5 penalty minutes per game for the fourth-most in the NHL. Defenseman Brayden McNabb leads the team with 24 total minutes.

Vegas winger Alex Tuch will return to the lineup after missing the previous four games with an upper-body injury. Tuch missed the first 13 games with an upper-body injury then in his second game back was hit high by Jets winger Adam Lowry that caused him to miss the last four. The 23-year-old Tuch’s 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) ranked fourth on the team last season.

Mark Stone leads the Golden Knights with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) for the Golden Knights. William Karlsson has recorded five assists during his last 10 games, and leads the team with 12 helpers. Reilly Smith is Vegas’ top goal scorer with 10.

Drake Caggiula will be out of the lineup for the Blackhawks. He’s been placed in concussion protocol.

Tale of the tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Golden Knights

46.9% (28th) — Corsi For — 51.6% (10th)

48.6% (24th) — Faceoffs — 48.9% (21st)

2.65 (23rd) — Goals per game — 2.84 (19th)

3.00 (t-16th) — Goals against per game — 2.95 (15th)

14.5% (24th) — Power play — 21.2% (12th)

79.3% (21st) — Penalty kill — 87.7% (3rd)

Lineups

Blackhawks

Saad — Toews — Nylander

DeBrincat — Strome — Kane

Shaw — Kampf — Kubalik

Carpenter — Dach — Smith

Keith — Gustafsson

De Haan — Seabrook

Maatta — Boqvist

Crawford

Lehner

Golden Knights

Pacioretty — Karlsson — Smith

Marchessault — Eakin — Stone

Glass — Stastny — Tuch

Carrier — Roy — Reaves

McNabb — Schmidt

Merrill — Holden

Hague — Theodore

Fleury

Subban

How to watch

When: 9 p.m.

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

TV: NBC Sports Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app