Scott Darling will get his fourth consecutive start when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars Tuesday night at the United Center.
Corey Crawford (upper body) is still not skating and coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t sure when he would be, or if he would travel on the Blackhawks’ upcoming trip to Western Canada. Quenneville did say Crawford was making “a little bit” of progress.
The Blackhawks enter tonight’s game third in the Central Division with 91 points. The Stars are atop the division with 95 points. None of the four previous contests between these two teams has been close, with the Blackhawks losing three of the four.
“It’s very important for us, especially at home here against a team that’s played well against us. We haven’t fared very well. We want to make sure we’re ready,” Quenneville said. “We know the importance of the game, we know it’s a four-point swing and we have a lot of room to make up as well. From our point of view, we have to play our best game.”
[RELATED - Backup goalie Scott Darling is gaining confidence with Blackhawks]
Former Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, who missed the March 11 game between the two teams due to injury, will play Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks’ lines will remain the same as they’ve been in their previous two games.
Meanwhile, Marcus Kruger (wrist) nears his return. Quennville said it’s possible that Kruger plays Saturday against the Calgary Flames.
Niklas Hjalmarsson played for the Blackhawks for 10 years and won three Stanley Cups with the team so his return to the United Center was a big deal.
The defenseman, now with the Arizona Coyotes, made his return to Chicago in Thursday's game. The Blackhawks had a tribute video for him during the game and the crowd gave him a standing ovation after the video.
He was teary-eyed after getting the warm reception.
Hjalmarsson was traded by the Blackhawks to the Coyotes for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin after the 2016-17 season. He played against the Blackhawks on Oct. 21 and again on Feb. 12 last season, but both games were in Arizona.
Injuries limited Hjalmarsson to 48 games last season and he missed Arizona's only trip to the United Center last season, which came in December.
Watch the video above to see Hjalmarsson's tribute and reaction.
Mark Lazerus and Hub Arkush join David Kaplan on the panel.
The guys discuss Corey Crawford’s return and what it means for the team’s playoff chances.
Khalil Mack misses practice again. The guys debate if it would be better to leave him out vs. the Patriots.
The latest on the MLB playoffs with controversy in Houston and gamesmanship by the Brewers.
Will Perdue and Kendall Gill join the panel to discuss Kris Dunn’s absence from the opener and the team’s playoff chances this season.
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.