LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Golden Knights, minus three of their top defenseman and leading scorer Jack Eichel, take on a team struggling near the bottom of the overall standings when they visit Chicago on Thursday night.

The Blackhawks are 1-11-1 in their last 13 games and rank near the bottom in most offensive and defensive categories. Chicago ranks 31st overall in the NHL in points with 18; only Anaheim (17 points) is worse.

The Knights are expected to be without Alex Pietrangelo (family illness), Zach Whitecloud (lower body) and Shea Theodore (lower body). Eichel (13G, 16A) was placed in injured reserve Tuesday; he also has been sidelined with a lower-body injury.

Eichel’s injury status is retroactive; he can return to play versus Buffalo on Saturday. Whitecloud is on long-term IR, meaning 10 games and 24 days

Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks.

  • Faceoff: 5:30 p.m., United Center, Chicago
  • TV/Radio: AT&T Sportsnet/KKGK, 1340 AM, 98.9 FM
  • Records: Golden Knights 21-9-1; Blackhawks 7-16-4
  • Notes: Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are expected to play in their 1,000th NHL game together on Sunday (Dec. 18) against the New York Rangers. Each has played in more than 1,000 games with the Blackhawks.