For the first time in nearly a week, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to hit the ice on Thursday night when they take on the San Jose Sharks in their home opener for the 2019-20 regular season.
The Blackhawks, looking to get back to the postseason after two straight years of missing the playoffs, lost their first game of the season in Prague last week, but are looking to get a good taste of home cooking as they will play their next seven games in the friendly confines of the United Center.
That homestand starts with a date against the Sharks on Thursday night, and San Jose has struggled badly through the season’s opening days, going 0-4 to start the campaign.
The Sharks will get a bit of a shot in the arm to their lineup on Thursday, as veteran forward Patrick Marleau is expected to make his debut after signing a contract with San Jose earlier this year.
The Blackhawks will also get the benefit of some fresh blood in their lineup, as defenseman Connor Murphy will suit up after being activated from injured reserve by the team. Murphy missed the team’s opener, and he will hope to boost a defense that struggled at times against the Flyers last week.
Corey Crawford will once again get the start for the Blackhawks, with Robin Lehner serving as the back-up for the second straight game.
Defenseman Calvin de Haan will miss his second straight game for Chicago, and forward Kirby Dach will not make his debut as he continues to recover from a concussion he suffered during a preseason prospect tournament in Michigan.
Puck drop between the Blackhawks and Sharks is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.