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Morning Skate Update: Stalock starting; DeBrincat returns to the United Center

Some updates before Monday’s game.

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

A few small updates ahead of the game Monday night between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Ottawa Senators.

The Blackhawks lineup is expected to be the same as the Nashville Predators game on Saturday with one change: Alex Stalock is the starting goaltender — his first game since Feb. 28.

For reference, the lines and pairings against the Predators were the following:

Ben Pope from the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a bit about the chemistry on and off the ice between Lukas Reichel and Philipp Kurashev:

Post-practice, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson mentioned Jonathan Toews’ return to hanging out with the team, though the captain is not back to practicing yet.

As for the Senators, their lineup is the same one that faced the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Not surprising considering this lineup is on a five-game win streak and 7-2-1 in the last 10 games.

Cam Talbot will be the starter for the Sens: he was the winning netminder in three of the five last wins with a .909 save-percentage and a 2.33 goals against average.

The top news for this game is obviously former Blackhawks sweetheart star Alex DeBrincat returning to the United Center since his trade from the Blackhawks last summer — though it’s not quite as big a story as it would have been before the NHL Trade Deadline, when so many of DeBrincat’s former teammates were traded.

DeBrincat spoke a bit about his Chicago return after practice, including how strange it is to see the Blackhawks lineup without Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews.

Yeah, it’s strange to us too, buddy.

DeBrincat also spoke about how the Senators are focused on getting into the playoffs, something that didn’t seem doable not that long ago. The Senators are currently just three points out of the last wild card spot in the East.

This late-season push has been seen by many as the Senators organization taking the next step in their rebuild, a process that Blackhawks fans should pay attention to since the Chicago rebuild is in now full swing.