Ryan Garbutt is back in the lineup and Corey Crawford will get the start when the Blackhawks host the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night at the United Center.
Garbutt was a healthy scratch the Blackhawks’ last three games. He skated during morning skate on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins.
“He’s a reliable guy as far as going up and down the wing. He gives us some speed, gives us some energy. That’s what we’re looking for,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think he and [Brandon Mashinter] do comparable things, but I think Garbs has some experience. We’re looking for that as well.”
Marian Hossa did not practice but will play against the Oilers. Mashinter is expected to be the healthy forward scratch; David Rundblad is the likely defensive scratch. While Crawford was in net during a 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, he still has given up just four goals in his last six starts — Colorado’s last goal was an empty netter.
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The Blackhawks will host an Oilers group that’s been on a hot streak lately. Edmonton won six in a row before losing to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Taylor Hall has six goals and four assists over his last six games.
“I think overall the team game’s more balanced,” Quenneville said of the Oilers. “They’re better with the puck on all four lines; don’t have to defend as much. More responsible in both ends, deeper and eventually getting better.”