EDMONTON, Alberta – The Blackhawks have played a lot of hockey lately and the upcoming break will give them a chance to recharge and regroup for the stretch run.
But before they relax, they have to get through one more team. And that team gave them a heck of a time in November.
Scott Darling will get the start as the Blackhawks face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. This is the Blackhawks' second visit to the Oilers' new home, Rogers Place. The first trip was forgettable as the Oilers pummeled the Blackhawks 5-0 on Nov. 21. The Oilers, who are coming off their bye week, lost three of four entering their break.
The Blackhawks have won four in a row and, regardless of Saturday's outcome, will finish above .500 on the Ice Show trip. Still they'd like to go into their bye week on a positive and keep pace with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild, who are idle tonight, have a five-point lead over the Blackhawks in the Western Conference.
"It's been a great trip for us," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Every game we played well and we want to make sure we keep doing the same things. Playing the right way is important as well. When we do it, it seems we're better, we're deeper and that balance can be the difference. We'll need a better effort than we saw in here the last time against this team. We lost our negative streaks against Minnesota and Winnipeg. We'll try to delete our last game in here as well."
Quenneville said he'd make one more lineup change but wouldn't divulge what it'll be.
Time: 9 p.m.
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza
Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Gustav Forsling-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Injuries/illnesses: Michal Rozsival (lower body).
Edmonton Oilers (via team website)
Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot-Drake Caggiula-Anton Slepyshev
Anton Lander-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian
Andrej Sekera-Matt Benning
Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson
Brandon Davidson-Jordan Oesterle
Injuries/illnesses: Jujhar Khaira (wrist), Darnell Nurse (ankle), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Kris Russel (undisclosed).