Artemi Panarin will miss his second consecutive game due to illness and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars tonight at the United Center.
Coach Joel Quenneville said Panarin’s illness is, “hopefully not long term, but he’s definitely out tonight.” Quenneville added that it’s comparable to what ailed Jonathan Toews prior to the All-Star break. Toews played through his illness for about a week but finally had to sit out the third period of the Blackhawks’ Jan. 26 game at Carolina. Toews also missed the All-Star weekend due to that illness and was suspended against Colorado on Feb. 2.
Richard Panik was in the left-wing spot on that second line at this morning’s skate. Jiri Sekac will once again be in the lineup.
Quenneville also talked on Thursday about Brandon Mashinter’s nullified goal from Tuesday night. Quenneville, who answered one question following that game, said today that he talked to the league about the nixed goal. It was the second time in three games the Blackhawks had their first goal erased by a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference.
“I just think, we had a couple of occurrences in a short amount of time so obviously a little frustration there,” Quenneville said of his brief presser. “But we did speak to the league and got some [clarification] on the play. I just think there’s education across the board and you have a lot of people in the middle of the process making the decisions. As long as we’re getting right is what we’re looking for.”
Asked if the league agreed with the no-goal decision, Quenneville said, “Did they agree with the call? No.”
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Meanwhile, the Blackhawks face the Stars for the third time since Dec. 22 but it’s the first regular-season matchup in Chicago. Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya are making their second trip here since they joined the Stars; they were both here for the final preseason game. Still, coming up here in a regular-season game, with the Stars chasing the first-place Blackhawks – they trail by three points – will be different.
“A little bit [weird,] yeah, but lucky to play the preseason game here, that kind of took all the weird stuff out of it. I can play a hockey game and enjoy the day,” Sharp said. “The first couple of games against the Hawks were difficult to play in, a little emotional, a little weird out there. But [there are] some valuable points on the line, so I’m sure those feelings go away as the season goes on.”
“It'll be more fun today than last time [in Chicago], so a lot of excitement,” he said. “It'll be a good day.”