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Brandon Saad to return from injury for Blackhawks vs. Maple Leafs

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The forward has missed the past 12 games with a right ankle injury.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit the Maple Leafs on Saturday in Toronto.

Chicago (22-20-6) has won seven of its past 10 games with only three games remaining before the NHL All-Star break. The Blackhawks have gone on this roll without one of their best forwards in Brandon Saad, who will return Saturday after missing 12 games with a right-ankle injury. He has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 35 games this season, and will slot into the lineup for Dylan Sikura.

Patrick Kane has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) during an eight-game point streak, which has put him two points shy of 1,000 for his career. He would be the youngest American-born player to reach the milestone.

Dominik Kubalik and Jonathan Toews have also been racking up points on the top line together. Kubalik has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his past seven games, while Toews has eight points (two goals, six assists) during a four-game point streak.

Corey Crawford will make his second straight start after he made 32 saves in Chicago’s 4-1 win against the Canadiens on Wednesday in his hometown of Montreal. He’s 5-1 in his career against Toronto, including allowing one goal in each of his past two starts.

Toronto (25-16-7) is coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Calgary on Thursday to drop the Leafs to 1-2-2 in their past five games after a 9-0-1 stretch. The Leafs, however, have found the back of the net often with at least four goals in 12 of their past 15 games.

Mitch Marner had his eight-game point streak (three goals, eight assists) end in the loss Thursday. Auston Matthews is carrying the Leafs with 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in the past nine games.

Frederik Andersen, who 22-8-6 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .912 save percentage with one shutout this season, is expected to start for the Leafs. He’s 3-3-3 in his career against the Blackhawks.

Season series

The Blackhawks have won two in a row by identical 5-4 totals against the Maple Leafs, including a victory Nov. 10 in Chicago. Prior to the past two games in the series, four straight games went to overtime and one went to a shootout. The Blackhawks are on a four-game point streak in Toronto with 3-0-1 record since Jan. 15, 2016.

Brothers clash

Chicago’s Alex Nylander and Toronto’s William Nylander will face off for the fifth time in their NHL careers. William is averaging a point per game against Alex after scoring two goals earlier this season in Chicago. Alex has one goal in the series.

Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Maple Leafs

48.3% (23nd) — Corsi For — 52.72% (6th)

46.35% (29th) — Expected goals for — 51.33% (13th)

2.9 (20th) — Goals per game — 3.6 (t-2nd)

3.1 (t-17th) — Goals against per game — 3.23 (23rd)

50% (t-16th) — Faceoffs — 52.8% (3rd)

15.6% (27th) — Power play — 24.1% (5th)

83% (8th) — Penalty kill — 76.1% (25th)



Kubalik — Toews — Caggiula

Saad — Carpenter — Kane

DeBrincat — Dach— Kampf

Highmore — Smith — A. Nylander

Keith — Boqvist

Gustafsson — Murphy

Maatta — Koekkoek



Maple Leafs

Hyman — Matthews — Marner

Johnsson — Tavares — W. Nylander

Engvall - Kerfoot - Kapanen

N/A — Brooks - Spezza

Dermott - Holl

Marincin - Barrie

Sandin - Ceci




How to watch

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

TV: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV