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Mar 18, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Jason Chimera (25) is defended by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

What To Watch For: Capitals Visit Chicago

This is it! The next time the Hawks arrive at the United Center there will be a Stanley Cup banner heading to the rafters. The rosters are cut down and there are just a few battles left before the final roster is set for opening night.

-Coach Quenneville says he’s keeping 8 defenseman repeatedly. That means the Ryan Stanton versus Michael Kostka for one spot with the Blackhawks. Let’s be honest here and say we all really hope that Sheldon Brookbank finds a home on another team and then this battle is meaningless. Even though Stanton has struggled at times this preseason he still looks better than Brookbank.  Kostka has been spoken as a lock for the roster, but the last game is the last snap shot before the final cut.

-Brandon Pirri has to be the man dangling the most and really needs a great showing Saturday night. Pirri did take some line rushes in practice during the week and really has to be the short-term/long-term answer for the 2nd line center this season instead of Michal Handzus.  Pirri had an assist Monday night, but he needs an even better showing tonight or he could be kicking off the season defending his AHL point leader status in Rockford.

-Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith battle will get its last preseason chance as they all try to unseat Joakim Nordstrom AKA the dark horse. Unless Marian Hossa isn’t ready opening night it looks like two of these four are headed back to Rockford, with tonight’s game the last chance to make an impression.

-The last thing to watch for is NO INJURIES Please!

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