The Blackhawks resume their four game road trip on Saturday vs. the Kings at Staples Center. Chicago is still searching for their first victory away from the United Center.
In the first game of the road trip, the Blackhawks were steamrolled by the Predators 3-0. It could have been a much more embarrassing score if Robin Lehner hadn’t played exceptional. He stopped 48 of 51 shots, including ten high-danger scoring chances.
Since Tuesday’s loss in Nashville, Chicago announced Kirby Dach will remain with the team for the rest of the regular season instead of sending him back to the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL. Consequently, his entry level deal won’t slide to next season, but the decision allows the Blackhawks to have full control of his on and off ice development.
Top prospect Adam Boqvist was also recalled from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs to add a right-handed shot to the blue line and power play, and boost Chicago’s offensive potential from their defensemen who have only scored one goal this season.
Boqvist is set to make his NHL debut and is expected to be paired with Duncan Keith, while Erik Gustafsson and Dennis Gilbert are healthy scratches. It’s the first time this season Gustafsson has been out of the lineup. He’s collected four assists and 14 shots, while averaging 19:54 minutes of ice time.
Colliton on sitting Gustafsson: "We think he can be better. Sometimes coming out of the lineup can be the spark. ... We think he can be better in both areas (offense & defense). He'll get feedback and it's up to him to respond."— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) November 2, 2019
Brent Seabrook will slot into Gilbert’s spot after being healthy scratched two games in a row for the first time in his career.
Like the Blackhawks, the Kings struggled in October. They finished the month on a four game losing streak, including a 5-1 loss to Chicago at the United Center, and have given up the most goals in the NHL at 54.
Los Angeles is led by two-time Selke Trophy winner Anze Kopitar and defenseman Drew Doughty. Kopitar leads the team in points with 13 (4 G, 9 A) and Doughty is not far behind with nine points (3 G, 6 A). Former first rounder Adrian Kempe and right-winger Tyler Toffoli are offensively gifted, but have had slow starts to the season with four and five points, respectively.
Jack Campbell is slated to start for the Kings after Jonathan Quick allowed five goals to the Canucks on Wednesday. Campbell is 2-3 on the season, has a 3.22 goals against average (GAA) and 0.880 save-percentage (SV%).
After being tied for fifth in the NHL with 3.3 goals per game in 2018-19, Chicago has stumbled offensively in their first 11 games this season. They’ve scored the least amount of goals in the league and are tied for 29th with 2.3 goals per game. The star packed trio of Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have only combined for seven goals and will have a tantalizing opportunity to get on the scoresheet against the Kings’ porous defense.
Corey Crawford will be between the pipes for the Blackhawks following two straight starts from Lehner. Crawford owns a 1-4 record, 3.67 GAA and 0.888 SV%.
Tale of the tape
48.3% (23rd) — Corsi For — 51.4% (12th)
49.6% (16th) — Faceoffs — 49.9% (14th)
2.30 (t-29th) — Goals per game — 2.60 (23rd)
2.91 (14th) — Goals against per game — 4.00 (t-30th)
9.10% (29th) — Power play — 9.80% (27th)
77.1% (t-22nd) — Penalty kill — 68.8% (30th)
Grundstrom - Kopitar - Carter
Kovalchuk - Lizotte - Toffoli
Iafallo - Kempe - Brown
Clifford - Amadio - Lewis
Martinez - Doughty
Hutton - Walker
MacDermid - Roy
How to watch
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app