Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov will both be out but Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at the United Center.
Anisimov was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Sunday, with an upper-body injury he sustained against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. The move enabled the Blackhawks to recall Tanner Kero, who will be in the lineup on Friday night. Kero has seven goals and 13 assists thus far with the Rockford IceHogs. On Thursday, he was centering the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Jordin Tootoo.
Coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful both Anisimov and Hossa, who suffered an upper-body injury against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, can return for the Blackhawks’ post-Christmas game against the Winnipeg Jets.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Crawford was on the ice a few minutes prior to Thursday’s practice, taking shots from Blackhawks teammates. Quenneville said the practices should help but Crawford could have to shake off some rust on Friday night; it will be Crawford’s first game since Dec. 1 against the New Jersey Devils.
“I think it’s probably challenging for goalies more so than other positions. You can never really recapture the pace of having a full 60 minutes in front of you when you’re standing up there constantly getting pushed on and fighting through screens and finding the shots. Just getting through a game will probably make a world of difference for him,” Quenneville said. “He wasn’t out too long, so I think recapturing it with a couple of practices going to help him. But the game, there’s nothing like it.”
The Blackhawks losing streak extended to eight games with an overtime loss in Carolina, but there were some signs of improvement with the team. Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss Jeremy Colliton going to the “nuclear option,” pairing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line. It seemed to work, but how did the other lines fare?
Plus, how close are we to seeing some calls made to Rockford and how important are the next two “winnable” games?
0:45 - Mindset of the team after their 8th straight loss
2:00 - Opposition getting quality chances against hawks goalies
4:00 - Toews and Kane playing on the same line
5:00 - Nick Schmaltz needs to take more shots
5:45 - Colliton's lines during overtime
8:00 - DeBrincat playing on a line with Kampf and Kahun
9:45 - Debrincat with more goals than Kane or Roenick through 100 career games
11:45 - How close are the Blackhawks to making some callups from Rockford to give the team a boost?
14:00 - Hawks get a chance against 2 other struggling teams in Blues and Knights
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Blackhawks Talk Podcast
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It felt like the Blackhawks' seven-game losing streak was going to end Monday night.
Cam Ward was stellar in net, the Blackhawks' offense started hot and Alex DeBrincat snapped his scoring drought. In the end, though, Monday's hot-start was for all for naught.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Blackhawks were outscored 3-0 the rest of the game, falling to the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. The Blackhawks have now lost eight-straight games for the second-straight season (they lost eight-straight in February 2018).
While the loss hurts, there are several positives to take from Monday's game. Cam Ward was stellar in his first start in Carolina as a visitor.
Ward, who played for the Hurricanes in his first 13 NHL seasons, made 37 saves on 40 shots. The two regulation goals that he allowed came with the Blackhawks a man-down, however.
Ward also made a huge save halfway through the third period during a 4-on-4 situation, keeping the score knotted at 2-2.
Alex DeBrincat scored his ninth goal of the season to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Not only was the goal DeBrincat's first since Oct. 25, but it also put him in exclusive company.
Monday was DeBrincat's 100th career NHL game; his 37 goals in those 100 games matches Artemi Panarin and Eric Daze through their first 100 games with the Blackhawks.
And while a loss is still a loss, the Blackhawks picked up a point for the first time since Oct. 28. There's always some positives, right?