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Blackhawks seek 11th straight win in season series against Penguins

Olli Maatta returns to Pittsburgh for the first time since he was traded to Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks are back on the road as they visit the Penguins on Saturday in Pittsburgh seeking their 11th straight win in the season series.

After a struggling to put the puck on net in San Jose with only 21 shots Tuesday in a 4-2 loss, Chicago fired 35 shots on net against the Canucks in a 5-2 home win Thursday.

Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome each had three points with a goal and two assists and three helpers, respectively. Corey Crawford stopped 36 of 38 shots for his second victory this season. Crawford is 9-1 with a .949 save percentage and 1.66 goals-against average against Pittsburgh in his career.

Two-time Stanley Cup champion Olli Maatta, who was acquired by Chicago in June for winger Dominik Kahun, will make his return to Pittsburgh. Maatta has four assists in 15 games with Chicago, including two helpers Thursday. Kahun has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the same amount of games.

Rookies Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist will both sit out as healthy scratches as part of the team’s development plan, Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton told the media Saturday afternoon.

Pittsburgh returns to PPG Paints Arena after a 4-3 overtime road win Thursday against the Islanders. The Penguins scored three third-period goals to snap New York’s 10-game win streak and avenge Pittsburgh’s first-round playoff sweep last spring.

Defenseman Kris Letang is week-to-week after suffering a lower-body injury Monday in Boston. He was off to a hot start offensively, recording 12 points in his first 15 games. With Letang out, rookie John Marino has stepped in and played with Brian Dumoulin on the top pairing. Chicago also won’t see Patric Hornqvist, who has five goals and 10 points, after he was placed on injured reserve.

The Penguins have struggled on the power play, going 0-for-23 in 10-plus games. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan split up stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin during Friday’s practice to try something new. The Penguins’ penalty kill, however, has plenty of success as the fourth-best unit in the league.

Crosby, as expected, leads Pittsburgh in scoring with 12 assists and 17 points. Jake Guenztel is the team’s goal scorer with seven and second in points with 13.

Matt Murray is expected to start in net. He’s 8-3-1 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .914 save percentage this season.

Tale of the tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Penguins

46.8% (29th) — Corsi For — 53.9% (2nd)

48.1% (26th) — Faceoffs — 50.5% (11th)

2.53 (28th) — Goals per game — 3.44 (7th)

3.00 (t-16th) — Goals against per game — 2.63 (t-23rd)

14.6% (24th) — Power play — 13.3% (26th)

80% (19th) — Penalty kill — 86.8% (4th)



Nylander — Toews — Saad

DeBrincat — StromeKane

Shaw — Kampf — Kubalik/Dach

Caggilua — Carpenter — Smith

Keith — Gustafsson

De Haan — Seabrook

Maatta — Koekkoek



Maple Leafs

Johnsson — Matthews — Nylander

Moore — Tavares — Marner

Mikheyev — Kerfoot — Kapanen

Timashov — Shore — Gauthier

Rielly — Ceci

Muzzin — Barrie

Dermott — Holl



How to watch

When: 6 p.m.

Where: PPG Paints, Pittsburgh

TV: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app