Blackhawks have chance to even score with Devils, Blues

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, right, fights with New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique during the first period of their Nov. 6 game. This week, the Blackhawks have a chance to wash the bad taste out of their mouths from recent losses to New Jersey and St. Louis.

    Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, right, fights with New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique during the first period of their Nov. 6 game. This week, the Blackhawks have a chance to wash the bad taste out of their mouths from recent losses to New Jersey and St. Louis. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/10/2015 7:26 PM

During the 82-game grind of the regular season, there are times that the NHL schedule-makers do teams a favor.

Even if it's unintentional.

 

That's certainly the case for the Blackhawks this week, as they have a chance to wash the bad taste out of their mouths from recent losses to New Jersey and St. Louis.

The Devils, who outworked and out-hustled the Hawks last Friday in a 4-2 victory, are in town Thursday.

"I think we were definitely not prepared in New Jersey," said Patrick Kane, who is riding a 10-game points streak. "You look at their roster and you might say, 'OK, there's probably some better teams in the NHL (talent-wise) … but there's not too many teams that work as hard as they do.'

"It would be nice to get em here in our building, hopefully get some revenge on 'em, especially the way we played in Jersey last time."

The Devils have won eight of 10 and are tied for fourth in the Metropolitan Division.

"They're a good team," coach Joel Quenneville said. "They've maybe surprised some teams this year. We weren't ready to play at that level."

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Two days later, the Hawks will travel to St. Louis to play the Blues, who overcame a 5-2 deficit at the United Center last Wednesday and won 6-5 in overtime.

Keith update:

The Hawks did not practice Tuesday, but Duncan Keith was on the ice as he prepares to come back from knee surgery. He said it's tough to gauge where he's at "when you're not battling anybody out there."

Coach Joel Quenneville said it's still possible Keith could return in St. Louis on Saturday or when the Hawks play Calgary the next night. The coaches and trainers will have a better indication after Keith practices with more intensity Wednesday.

Keith didn't want to shed too much light on how the knee feels before, during or after skating.

"I don't know if I need to get into all the little details about my injury and what happened and how it feels exactly," he said. "At the end of the day, I think I'm right on where the trainers want me to be and I keep trying to push it every day and I feel better and better. I think that's a good thing."

Quenneville said Michal Rozsival could also return for one of the two weekend games. That will likely mean the Hawks will have to reassign two current defensemen on the roster.

Slap shots:

Coach Joel Quenneville said that Ryan Garbutt, who was sick and missed Sunday's game, is "back to normal." … Artem Anisimov, who has 6 goals on the season, leads the Hawks in shooting percentage. He scores on 28.6 percent of his shots. Patrick Kane is next at 17.9 percent. … Garbutt is the player with the most shots without a goal (31).

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