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Despite no goals, Filip Chytil is keeping a positive attitude

Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks hits

Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks hits the ice as he knocks the puck away from Filip Chytil #72 of the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel

CHICAGO — Filip Chytil hadn’t scored a goal through the first nine games of the season, but the 19-year-old rookie has been getting closer and closer, and he’s keeping a positive attitude.

“I think it’s hardest to score the first goal of the season,’’ Chytil said at the optional morning skate Thursday. “It’s going to help my confidence, I can be more confident and I can play with — I don’t know how to say it — with no pressure on my shoulders. I don’t feel pressure now, but it will be better to score my first goal.’’

With 20-year-old Brett Howden having supplanted him as the third-line center, Chytil has been playing left wing on the second line with center Kevin Hayes. Thursday was his fifth game there and he said he has enjoyed playing wing.

“It’s still hockey,’’ he said of the difference between wing and center. “I don’t have to be, in the defensive zone, so responsible. I have to be responsible, but I don’t have to be lower [in the zone] and skate with the center in our zone.”  

DeAngelo, Lettieri out

Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo sat out his sixth straight game and right wing Vinni Lettieri was scratched for the second straight time.

“He’s got to be a little bit better, for sure,’’ coach David Quinn said of Lettieri. “But these other guys have played well, too. I think there’s healthy competition, and sometimes it’s not so much what you’re not doing but it’s what other people are doing.”

Cody McLeod played in his third straight game and fourth in five. “He gives energy, he plays at a pace, he’s coachable, he’s structurally sound and he brings a grit element to our lineup,’’ Quinn said.

Forward Matt Beleskey cleared waivers and was sent to AHL Hartford.

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