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The Blackhawks will be without veteran defenseman Duncan Keith against the Avalanche on Saturday in Denver.
Keith did not travel with the team after injuring his groin in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Colorado in Chicago. He’ll miss his first game since April 6, 2017, ending a 189-game streak. The severity of the injury is still unknown, but with two integral pieces of the Blackhawks’ lineup missing in Keith and Dylan Strome, the Blackhawks’ depth will be tested.
After Friday’s defeat, the Blackhawks recalled defenseman Ian McCoshen and reassigned Matthew Highmore to the AHL. Winger Anton Wedin, who was called up earlier this week, is expected to make his regular season debut and defenseman Slater Koekkoek will likely draw back into the lineup.
Chicago dropped the first game of the home-and-home, but Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 14 games with a goal. It’s the fourth time that Kane has reached the 14 game mark in his illustrious career.
Kane is ninth in the NHL with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists). However, he’s the only Chicago skater with more than 20 points as Alex DeBrincat sits at 19 and Strome, who is still in concussion protocol, has 17.
Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey
Robin Lehner is slated to start for Chicago after Corey Crawford made 18 saves on 23 shots in Friday’s loss. Lehner leads the league in save-percentage at .938 and is third in goals saved above average at 13.5. He’s lost his last two starts, but only gave up four goals on 73 shots.
Nathan MacKinnon, who collected four points Friday, paces the Avalanche with 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists). Rookie defenseman and Calder Trophy favorite Cale Makar is next in line with 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists). He showcased his wicked shot with a top shelf power-play goal and his dynamic speed Friday.
MacKinnon is expected to get Mikko Rantanen back on his right wing after the Finnish sniper missed 16 games with a lower-body injury.
Philipp Grubauer, the Avalanche’s No. 1 goaltender, should start in net. He’s 8-5-2 with a .912 save-percentage on the season.
Tale of the Tape
Blackhawks — Statistic — Avalanche
47.8% (24th) — Corsi For — 48.9% (22nd)
49.1% (21st) — Faceoffs — 47.4% (28th)
2.80 (t-20th) — Goals per game — 3.60 (3rd)
2.68 (10th) — Goals against per game — 2.80 (12th)
13.5% (27th) — Power play — 19.2% (13th)
80.8% (19th) — Penalty kill — 78.1% (21st)
Saad — Toews — Shaw
DeBrincat — Carpenter— Kane
Smith — Dach— Nylander
Kubalik — Kampf— Wedin
Maatta — Murphy
de Haan — Seabrook
Gustafsson — Koekkoek
Donskoi — MacKinnon — Rantanen
Nichushkin — Kadri — Compher
Nieto — Bellemare — O’Connor
Kamenev — Jost— Tynan
Graves — Makar
Girard — Zadorov
Rosen — Cole
How to watch
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app