Blackhawks look to continue streaking versus the Islanders

The Blackhawks (20-8-1) will face a familiar friend when they face off against the NY Islanders (19-10-0) for the first time this season on Saturday night: defenseman Nick Leddy, who was traded to the NYI earlier this year.

Leddy was drafted by the Wild, and was traded to the Blackhawks, where he played 258 games and with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2013. Leddy has 5 goals, 9 assists in 29 games this season, and seems to be doing well for the Islanders, playing on the top defensive pairing, and averaging several more minutes per game than he did with Chicago. It will be Leddy's first game against his former team.

Chicago will probably be without their captain, Jonathan Toews, who was driven into the boards behind the goal by Dennis Seidenberg in the game versus the Bruins. Seidenberg will not receive any supplemental discipline for the hit. Toews, however, stayed on the ice for a shift before heading to the locker room; he should've been taken off the ice immediately for evaluation. Toews traveled with the team to Long Island.

While the Blackhawks haven't had the injury issues of say, the Columbus Blue Jackets, it does seem like barely does one player get healthy when another one goes out. Patrick Sharp has just returned to the active roster, and Corey Crawford isn't far away.

Scott Darling has gone 5-1-0 with 1.80 GAA and .939 sv% in games he's played for the Blackhawks during Crawford's two absences. His play in the past few games has been excellent, which of course has inevitably led to fans wondering if there's a backup goalie controversy in the works between Darling and Antti Raanta, who was signed as the team's primary backup this year.

While the Islanders have so far had a solid season - one that has found them solidly in the top two of the Metropolitan division - they are currently on a three-game losing streak. The Islanders' PK has struggled (71.3%), and they've been averaging 2.93 GA/G.

The Blackhawks come into the Island on an 8-game win streak.


- Blackhawks: Corey Crawford (lower body); possibly Jonathan Toews (head/upper body); Trevor van Riemsdyk remains out after surgery.

- Islanders: Johnny Boychuk (upper body), Travis Harmonic (upper body), Casey Cizikas (upper body). All three skated with the team on Friday, and their coach said they were "progressing well".

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