Chicago forward Chris Kunitz will skate in his 1,000th NHL game, as he celebrates his 15-year career that includes four Stanley Cup championships and 613 points with Anaheim, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Chicago. The 39-year old sat out Tuesday to ensure his 1,000th game would be played at the United Center
The trip out to Boston was not a complete disappointment for the Blackhawks, as Patrick Kane continued his point streak with at least one point earned in his last 15 games played. Kane’s 82 points this season are tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the second most in the NHL, trailing Nikita Kucherov by six points.
Along with Kane, Dylan Strome continued his streak of five consecutive games with at least a point. Strome’s production with his line mates of Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun have produced nine goals and 20 assists during their last five games together.
Chicago will turn to veteran goaltender Cam Ward in net after Collin Delia allowed five goals against Boston.
The Blackhawks enter Thursday’s game only four points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, currently occupied by the Wild. New Jersey, on the other hand, is second from the bottom in the league and has lost four of its last five games, including an 8-3 drubbing from the Blues on Tuesday in St. Louis.
Reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall is still out of the lineup with a lower-body injury from Dec. 23, and Miles Wood remains on injured reserve with an upper-body injury that has sidelined him for the last three games.
Cory Schneider will get the start in net tonight for the Devils, after sitting out the last two games following a 4-2 loss against Minnesota. Schneider still has not earned a victory this season, with an 0-6-2 record and a 4.12 GAA and a .868 SV%.
In the first meeting this season between the Blackhawks and Devils, New Jersey won 8-5 at the Prudential Center. Chicago leads the series all-time with a 49-42-21 record, including a 29-16-10 record at home.
Caggiula — Toews — Kane
DeBrincat — Strome — Kahun
Saad — Anisimov — Sikura
Kunitz — Kruger — Hayden
Keith — Seabrook
Dahlstrom — Murphy
Koekkoek — Gustafsson
Anderson — Hischier — Bratt
Johansson — Zajac — Palmieri
Agostino — Zacha — Lappin
Seney — Rooney — Gabriel
Greene — Severson
Butcher — Lovejoy
Mueller — Gryba
How to watch
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Location: United Center, Chicago