The biggest news ahead of Wednesday’s game is that captain Jonathan Toews is expected to be in the lineup. He hasn’t appeared in a Blackhawks game since Aug. 18, 2020 when Chicago was eliminated from the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. Toews had a goal that night in a 4-3 loss.
Based on the morning skate, Toews will skate between Dominik Kubalik and Philipp Kurashev on Chicago’s top line. Elsewhere in the lineup, Kirby Dach returns from an up-and-down 2021 season to slot in at 2C with Brett Connolly and Brandon Hagel on his wings. The third line will feature a trio of players on the NHL/AHL bubble: Alex Nylander, Henrik Borgstrom and 2020 first-round pick Lukas Reichel, who’ll be playing in his first NHL action of any kind after an impressive 2020-21 campaign overseas.
Lukas Reichel will make his NHL debut (kind of) tonight.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) September 29, 2021
"It's like a dream come true to get jersey on from Chicago Blackhawks. Since I've been playing hockey, it's my favorite team. I'm really excited for it." pic.twitter.com/FHpVoQMu2r
Some noticeable absences in the Chicago lineup include goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Seth Jones and forwards Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. But their absences gives some young players a chance to shine, including defenseman Isaak Phillips, a 2020 fifth-round pick (141st overall) who had an impressive stint with the IceHogs in the AHL last season.
Here’s the entire Blackhawks roster for Wednesday’s game:
Should the Blackhawks get time on the man advantage, here’s what the power-play personnel could be, again based on the morning skate:
Let’s go Hawks!
Kubalik — Toews — Kurashev
Connolly — K. Dach — Hagel
Reichel — Borgstrom — Nylander
Khaira — Entwistle — Gaudette
Stillman — Murphy
C. Jones — Kalynuk
Phillips — Beaudin
How to watch
When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: NBC Sports Chicago-Plus, NHL Network