The Chicago Blackhawks will play their final preseason game on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and when they do, they will roll with a lineup that fans could see again on Opening Night next week.
The Blackhawks will skate Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews, and will have Brandon Saad back up on the second line with Nick Schmaltz at center and Patrick Kane on the right side of the ice.
Those two lines are expected to give the Blackhawks a bit more punch at the top of their lineup, but things haven’t quite gone as planned for Chicago in the preseason, as they’ve dropped four out of five games.
Artem Anisimov is expected to center the third line, with Chris Kunitz and David Kampf alongside. John Hayden, Marcus Kruger, and Andreas Martinsen are expected to comprise the fourth line, with Dylan Sikura likely serving as a scratch for the contest against Columbus.
At goaltender, the Blackhawks are expected to start Cam Ward, who will likely be the team’s Opening Night starter when they play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday in the Canadian capital. He is expected to play the entire game at the United Center, with Anton Forsberg serving as his back-up.
On defense, the Blackhawks are rolling with their likely opening pairings for the season, with Duncan Keith and Henri Jokiharju skating on the top pairing. Brandon Manning and Brent Seabrook have been working together and will be the second pair, with Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Davidson on the third pairing, with Jan Rutta serving as the healthy scratch.
Puck drop between the two teams is set for 7 p.m., and the game will air on WGN.