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GAME DAY: Golden Knights host slumping Blackhawks

The Golden Knights go for their fourth straight victory at home when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.

Opening faceoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.

The Knights set a franchise record for goals in an 8-3 victory at Chicago on Nov. 27. Cody Eakin and Shea Theodore each had two goals and an assist, and Deryk Engelland added three assists in the win.

“We were in there, what, a week and a half ago and obviously got eight goals,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “Even in that game, they played a good hockey game. They were just unlucky. Three of our goals went in off their defensemen and the scoring chances in that game were pretty even.

“They can bring it offensively. They’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of skill, and they’ve got a lot of pride over there, so they’ll be a lot better tonight. We’ve got to make sure we’re real good tonight.”

Winger Max Pacioretty, who missed Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over Washington with an undisclosed injury, participated in the Knights’ morning skate and likely will return to the lineup against the Blackhawks.

“Expecting,” Gallant said when asked whether Pacioretty will play. “Not 100 percent sure yet, but expecting.”

Forward Reid Duke took line rushes between Tomas Nosek and Ryan Carpenter at Thursday’s morning skate, and it’s uncertain whether the 22-year-old will make his NHL debut after being called up Wednesday from the American Hockey League.

If not, Oscar Lindberg will remain in the lineup after his two-assist showing against the Capitals.

Duke was the first player signed by the Knights in 2017.

“We’ll see. I can’t say for sure,” Gallant said of Duke’s status. “He’s the only extra forward, so we’ll see what happens.”

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will make his eighth consecutive start for the Knights. He is 6-1 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in that stretch.

The Knights (15-13-1, 31 points) have won six of their past seven games.

The Blackhawks (9-15-5) lost 4-2 at Anaheim on Wednesday to begin their back-to-back and have dropped five straight.

Patrick Kane leads Chicago in scoring with 31 points after he picked up an assist in the loss to the Ducks. Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat each have 23 points.

Backup goaltender Cam Ward could be in line to start against the Knights after Corey Crawford was in net against Anaheim.

“They have a good team,” Knights winger William Carrier said. “We’ve got to respect them coming in and play the same way. We’ve been chipping pucks in deep and going to work. We’re trying to (add) that to our game and (encourage) everyone else to do the same stuff, and it’s working for us right now.”

Golden Knights projected lineup

Forwards

Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty-Cody Eakin-Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek-Reid Duke-Ryan Carpenter

William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves

Defensemen

Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore-Deryk Engelland

Nick Holden-Colin Miller

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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