Jonathan Toews will be out once again with an injury that’s “not getting better,” and Scott Darling will start when the Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets tonight at the United Center.
Toews, suffering from a reported back injury, skated on Sunday morning. But coach Joel Quenneville said later in the afternoon that the Blackhawks will keep Toews off the ice for about three days and then, “get a better assessment in the middle of the week.” Once listed as day-to-day, Toews, who was injured on Nov. 23, will now miss his sixth consecutive game.
“Well, you certainly miss his presence in all aspects of his team game, his leadership is as good as anyone who plays,” Quenneville said. “I still think you have to find a way to do what you can to make a contribution and make a simpler game plan.”
Gustav Forsling is expected to play tonight. With Nick Schmaltz reassigned to Rockford earlier on Sunday – to get playing time but also due to cap issues – Andrew Desjardins will move over to center the fourth line.
Darling will start his second consecutive game and is expected to get a bulk of the work with Corey Crawford sidelined after his appendectomy on Saturday. Lars Johansson was recalled to be the Blackhawks’ backup in Crawford’s absence.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Connor Hellebuyck will start against the Blackhawks again tonight. Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots in a 4-0 victory over the Blackhawks on Nov. 15.
BLACKHAWKS VS. WINNIPEG JETS
Live Stream: CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports App
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Ryan Hartman-Vinnie Hinostroza -Marian Hossa
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger -Richard Panik
Tyler Motte-Andrew Desjardins-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Brian Campbell
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Niklas Hjalmarsson
INJURIES: Jonathan Toews (upper body), Corey Crawford (appendix).
Winnipeg Jets (via Winnipeg Free Press)
Nikolaj Ehlers-Bryan Little-Patrik Laine
Drew Stafford-Mathieu Perrault-Blake Wheeler
Andrew Copp-Adam Lowry-Marko Dano
Brandon Tanev-Alexander Burmistrov-Chris Thorburn
Josh Morrissey-Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom-Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot-Paul Postma
INJURIES: Mark Scheifele (lower body), Joel Armia (lower body), Shawn Matthias (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body).