Flyers-Blackhawks preview: Chicago reuniting its top line

APTOPIX Flyers Blackhawks Hockey
Sean Couturier is stopped by Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford in the Flyers’ 3-0 loss last week.

Blackhawks (7-6-2) vs. Flyers (7-6-2)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday.

WHERE: Wells Fargo Center.

BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV, NBCSP; radio, 93.3 FM.

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull; @samdonnellon.

KEY PLAYERS: With his team struggling offensively, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is going back to the future. He is reuniting an old and successful line — Jonathan Toews centering Patrick Shark and Patrick Kane — in an attempt to jump-start the attack. “That’s the goal — create some magic,” Kane told Chicago reporters.

Chicago entered Wednesday 18th in the NHL, averaging 2.87 goals per game. The Flyers were 14th (3.13 per game).

The Blackhawks have been getting great goaltending from Corey Crawford, whose .945 save percentage and 1.77 goals-against average lead the league.

Sean Couturier, who is tied with Jake Voracek for the Flyers’ lead with 18 points,  has 11 points, including five goals, in his last seven games. Dating to last season, he has 35 points and a plus-29 rating in his last 35 games.

Radko Gudas, who was injured in the Flyers’ 3-0 loss to Chicago last week, is expected to return to the Flyers’ lineup. Nolan Patrick, however, figures to miss his seventh straight game because of concussion symptoms.

Shayne Gostisbehere needs one point to reach the century mark in his career. If he does it in the next eight games, he will reach 100 points at the start of his career quicker than any defenseman in franchise history.

The Flyers are trying to end a three-game home losing streak.

HEAD TO HEAD: This is the second meeting between the teams this season. Chicago scored a 3-0 win at the United Center on Nov. 1 as Crawford made 35 saves to notch the shutout. The Flyers have a 60-47-30 record in the all-time series.

The Flyers have won 13 straight regular-season home games against the Blackhawks since 1996.

FLYERS’ UPCOMING GAMES:

Saturday: 7 p.m. vs. Minnesota.

Tuesday: 8 p.m. at Minnesota.

Nov. 16: 8 p.m. at Winnipeg.