Saturday, Oct. 28 | 7:00 p.m. | Allstate Arena
After beginning the season with five games against Pacific Divisions teams, the Wolves are in the thick of a five-game run against their Central Division counterparts. The Wolves recorded an 0-2- 0-0 record through the first pair of contests. Tonight the club faces the division-leading Milwaukee Admirals, who are coming off a 5-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs on Friday night.
The Milwaukee Admirals took over the top spot in the Central Division with a 5-2 victory at Rockford. Milwaukee and Rockford went into Friday night’s contest with Rockford holding down the top position in the standings by two points and .057 percentage points. The IceHogs opened game scoring with two goals, but the Admirals scored five consecutive goals — two from Yakov Trenin — for the victory.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
With Friday’s 5-3 loss to the reigning Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, the Wolves sunk to the No. 6 spot in the Central Division standings. The club has earned only 5 of a possible 14 points through 7 games this season. In that span, the Wolves have been outscored 27-24 but are averaging 3.43 goals per game. That’s 0.13 better than last season’s 3.30 goal average.
POWER PLAY OK
The Wolves netted two power-play goals in four chances on Friday against the Grand Rapids Griffins, which was a significant turnaround after failing to collect a goal in seven opportunities during Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Manitoba Moose. Chicago’s power-play performance Friday included a 5-on-3 man-advantage goal, the team’s second in four tries this season. Currently, the Wolves’ power play is ranked second in the American Hockey League with a 25 percent success rate. Only the Utica Comets have been better at 31 percent.
SHIPPIN UP TO CHICAGO
Center Vadim Shipachyov is slated to make his Wolves debut tonight against the Milwaukee Admirals. The 30-year-old Russian became just the second Vegas Golden Knight when he signed a contract with the club on May 4. A two-time Gagarin Cup champion — the Kontinental Hockey League’s top award — Shipachyov came to North America as one of the KHL’s top players. The three-time KHL all-star scored in his National Hockey League debut on Oct. 15 against the Boston Bruins and went on skate in two more contests with Vegas before being returned on loan to the Wolves. When Siy7 the ice, he will be the 13th player to don No. 13 for the Wolves.
By the Numbers:
- 0: On Friday night, 23-year-old Oscar Dansk backstopped the Vegas Golden Knights to a 7-0 victory, the first shutout in franchise history. In just his third National Hockey League contest, Dansk made 32 saves to register his first shutout. Through two starts and 134 minutes of time in net, Dansk has recorded a 3-0-0 record, 1.34 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. Prior to being recalled from loan by the Golden Knights on Oct. 19, Dansk appeared one game with the Wolves. In that 6-5 overtime loss to the Texas Stars on Oct. 7, Dasnk posted a 5.57 GAA and a .833 save percentage through 65 minutes of action. In his last professional stint in North America — 2014-15 with the Springfield Falcons — Dasnk backstopped the team for 21 games and collected a 7-7-5 record with an .880 save percentage and 3.57 goals-against average.
- 2: Center Ivan Barbashev has two goals in two games since being loaned to the Wolves by the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 22. The 21-year-old was responsible for Chicago’s lone goal in Wednesday’s loss to the Manitoba Moose, and Friday night he netted the Wolves’ first goal of the contest against the Grand Rapids Griffins to pull the team out of a 1-0 deficit. Last season, despite missing 30 games to call-up and injury, Barbashev finished sixth in team scoring and fourth in goals. In 46 games with the Wolves, he collected 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points.
- 3: Friday night, the Chicago Wolves surrendered their first hat trick of the season as Matt Lorito netted three goals en route to a 5-3 victory for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 27-year- old Lorito was playing in his first game since Oct. 14 as he missed three games due to injury. The three-goal performance was the first of the Oakville, Ontario native’s career and he earned first- star honors for his efforts.
- 6: Defenseman Griffin Reinhart made his Wolves debut on Friday night and donned the No. 6 jersey. The 23-year-old joined the Wolves on a conditioning loan from the Vegas Golden Knights. Reinhart has yet to see regular-season playing time with Vegas but did appear in preseason action. Prior to Reinhart, the last player to wear No. 6 for the Wolves was fellow blueliner Vince Dunn. The 21-year-old Dunn made his National Hockey League debut with the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Eight days later, he netted his first NHL goal against the Florida Panthers. Through 11 games, the Lindsey, Ontario, native has two goals and a +6 plus/minus rating.
- 260: Stefan Matteau’s next game will be professional game No. 260. In his sixth season of professional hockey, Matteau has spent most of his games in the American Hockey League — 203 of them — split between the Montreal and New Jersey organizations before coming to the Wolves for the 2017-18 campaign. Oct. 21 marked Matteau’s 200th AHL game. The 23-year-old was drafted 29th overall by the New Jersey Devils during the 2012 NHL Draft. In the proceeding season, Matteau made his professional debut on Jan. 19, 2013, against the New York Islanders. Six games later, Matteau netted his first professional goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 9. Matteau has appeared in 56 NHL games, primarily with the New Jersey Devils. He skated in just a dozen games with the Montreal Canadiens.
Friday, Oct. 27 (at) Grand Rapids 5, Chicago 3
- The Wolves collected their fourth regulation loss against the Griffins.
- Forward Ivan Barbashev netted his second goal in as many game while veteran Brett Sterling registered his first tally of the year and Teemu Pulkkinen scored against his former team.
- Goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo turned aside 36 shots in his second game for the Wolves.
Wednesday, Oct. 25 Manitoba 3, (at) Chicago 1
- The Moose netted three straight goals en route to victory over the Wolves.
- Center Ivan Barbashev collected Chicago’s lone goal in his first AHL game of the season.
- In his Wolves debut, goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo made 23 saves.
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5-6-0-1 Milwaukee | 7-3-1-1 Chicago
March 11, 2017