Duncan Keith will play and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
Keith did not practice on Sunday but coach Joel Quenneville said the defenseman is fine. Michal Rozsival (lower body) also did not practice. Quenneville said he’s not ruling out Rozsival possibly playing against the Kings.
Andrew Desjardins was back on the third line and Dale Weise was on the fourth line again during Sunday’s practice. Brandon Mashinter, who did not play on Friday due to illness, was also on the fourth line.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]
The Blackhawks, who have 88 points, are in third place in the Central Division entering Monday’s game. Dallas and St. Louis each have 91 points, but Dallas claims first place because it has more regulation/overtime victories (39 to St. Louis’ 36). The Blackhawks, 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, would like to be playing better, more consistent hockey down the stretch.
“We’re better off playing good hockey and when we do that, we win games. We want to continue winning so we can stay at the top and give ourselves a chance to play a lower seed. There’s no doubt that’s our goal right now,” Jonathan Toews said. “There’s no reason to be satisfied with where we’re at. I think obviously we know there’s a lot of work left to do so that’s something as we’ve said before, it’s motivating us to continue to improve and continue to play well these dozen last games or so.”
The Kings, who are atop the Pacific Division right now, have won seven of their last 10 games.