Blackhawks vs. Kings game preview: Chicago looks to close out Circus Trip with winning record

Chicago is 3-3 on its seven-game road trip, and haven’t had a losing record on the trip since 2006.

Scott Darling is expected to start in net for the Chicago Blackhawks when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in the final game of the seven-game Circus Trip at Staples Center.

With a 3-2 win Friday in Anaheim, Chicago (14-6-2) improved to 3-3-0 on the Circus Trip. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist and Ryan Hartman tallied the game-winner. Kane and Artemi Panarin are tied for the team lead on the road trip with four points. Kane has scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 15 career games at Staples Center.

Hartman has flourished on the road trip with three of his last five goals.

Darling is 4-0-0 in six games, including four starts, with a 2.94 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. However, he’s 1-0-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .941 save percentage in two starts against the Kings (11-9-1).

Jonathan Toews missed Friday’s game with an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Toews, who hasn’t record a point during the road trip, has just four goals and eight assists in 21 games this season. He will not play Saturday along with Jordin Tootoo, who suffered a lower-body injury in Friday’s game.

The Kings are riding a four-game win streak into the game, and could be getting back a big-time player. Los Angeles hasn’t won five straight since Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 2.

Marian Gaborik could be in the lineup for the first time this season. The decision on whether Gaborik will play is based on his performance in Saturday’s morning skate. Gaborik was placed on injured reserve Sept. 26 after breaking his right foot during the World Cup of Hockey. He’s currently 14 goals shy of 400 career NHL goals, and has 14 in 31 games against Chicago.

Chicago won the first game of the season series against Los Angeles. Corey Crawford made 32 saves for a 3-0 shutout win Oct. 30 in Chicago, however, the Kings have won two straight, each by one goal, over the Hawks at Staples Center.



*Blackhawks lines as of Friday’s practice


Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman - Vincent Hinostroza - Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Desjardins

Tyler Motte - Nick Schmaltz - Richard Panik


Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brent Seabrook - Michal Kempny

Brian Campbell - Gustav Forsling


Scott Darling



Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Trevor Lewis

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown - Nic Dowd - Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Teddy Purcell


Derek Forbort - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Kevin Gravel - Matt Greene


Peter Budaj

*Lines will be updated if necessary

How to watch Blackhawks at Kings

Time: 9:30 p.m. CT

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles