Blackhawks

Scott Darling starts, Brian Campbell back in vs. Hurricanes

Scott Darling starts, Brian Campbell back in vs. Hurricanes

Scott Darling will get the nod and the Blackhawks will look for their second consecutive victory when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

The Blackhawks made some moves prior to the game, assigning defenseman Gustav Forsling and forward Spencer Abbott to the Rockford IceHogs. Abbott’s stay was a quick one; he was recalled on Wednesday and played vs. the Sabres. While he started on the Blackhawks’ top line, he finished on the fourth. With Forsling, it’s a chance for the young defenseman to get more minutes, more regular playing time with the IceHogs.

“That’s got a lot to do with it,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We want him playing, and playing more minutes and get confidence and then get more minutes in power-play and penalty-killing situations and more consistency to his game. I thought he started off alright but I still think that this is probably a good process for him getting more exposure in the game and it keeps seven guys here. We can bring him up at any time.”

Dennis Rasmussen said the experience should be good for Forsling.

“I talked to him yesterday and he’s still positive about it that he can go there and play a lot and get confidence and hopefully come back and play here,” he said.

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Brian Campbell will draw back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Thursday. Vinnie Hinostroza, who ended Thursday’s game on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, will start there against Carolina.

The Blackhawks came back to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime. They maintain a one-point lead in the Western Conference over the Minnesota Wild, who beat the San Jose Sharks late Thursday.

The Hurricanes, who beat the Blackhawks 3-2 a week ago in Raleigh, N.C., are coming off a 4-2 victory in St. Louis. Carolina has struggled on the road this season, going 6-10-6.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks forward lines

Vinnie Hinostroza-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Goaltender

Scott Darling

Injuries

Marcus Kruger

Hurricanes forward lines (via Hurricanes website) 

Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Ty Rattie

Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn-Jordan Staal-Derek Ryan

Joakim Nordstrom-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg

Defensive pairs

Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce

Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin-Ryan Murphy

Goaltender

Cam Ward

Injuries/illness

Bryan Bickell (multiple sclerosis)

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Kirby Dach on road to NHL, role with Blackhawks and rapid fire Q&A

kirby_dach_usa_today.jpg
USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Kirby Dach on road to NHL, role with Blackhawks and rapid fire Q&A

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis goes 1-on-1 with Kirby Dach to discuss what the past five months have been like since being drafted No. 3 overall, his reaction after finding out he would stay with the Blackhawks past the nine-game tryout and what he's learned the most at the NHL level.

They also play a fun game of rapid-fire Q&A, which includes his favorite cheat day meal, the last concert he attended, NHL players he looked up to as a kid and more.

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Erik Gustafsson is back to looking like player he was last season for Blackhawks

Erik Gustafsson is back to looking like player he was last season for Blackhawks

Less than three weeks ago, Erik Gustafsson fell out of the rotation for the Blackhawks. The offensive production wasn’t there and the defensive part of his game was trending in the wrong direction.

Since being healthy scratched on Nov. 2 against Los Angeles, Gustafsson has looked like a different player. He’s starting to resemble the impact-type player he was last season when he became one of six NHL defensemen to finish with at least 60 points.

And it’s because he’s getting back to his roots.

“I don’t know how, from a scratch, my confidence can get up so fast but I feel like myself a little bit more now,” Gustafsson told NBC Sports Chicago. “I got a video guy that I worked with last year and working with him right now and went back and looked at those videos a couple days ago and it's just a whole other player from last year and now. I just wanted to come back to that moment. I felt like I was having fun out there and not thinking too much.

“I think my defensive part is better than last year but I just want to get back to when I have the puck and I've felt pretty good now the past four games, so let's keep it going."

Gustafsson said that after morning skate on Wednesday. He followed it up by scoring his first goal of the season later that night in a 5-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights, roofing a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to end a 16-game goal drought.

“He just looks much more confident with the puck,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “He’s cleaner. He still has a couple turnovers here and there but he’s going to turn it over every once in a while. We just want him to try to be as clean as he can and situationally manage when he’s going to try and do those things.”

It helps that Gustafsson is back to earning top minutes, which he admitted is beneficial because if he has a bad shift he doesn’t have to dwell on it too long. But Colliton is trying walk the line of giving Gustafsson enough rope to make mistakes while also holding him responsible for his play.

“It’s a balance,” Colliton said. “Because you’ve got to earn the minutes you get and if you’re not doing the job then your minutes will go down. But at the same time, I don’t believe that if you make one mistake you should get the hook. That’s a tough way to play when you’re always worried if I make one mistake, you’re going to be punished for it or whatever it may be. So as a coach, that’s the balance, the line we walk to try to get the most out of every player but also make sure there’s accountability.”

Earlier in the season, Gustafsson was consumed by trying to develop a defense-first mentality without taking away from his offensive instincts. Now he’s gotten back to focusing on the strengths of his game rather than the weaknesses, and it’s allowed him to play looser. 

"I think it was a lot of parts like moving my feet, skating,” Gustafsson said of what he noticed during video sessions of his play last season vs. this season. “It's a big part about my game, too. I have to skate a lot. Last year when I got a guy on me I just faked going one side and went to the other side and just skated and tried to find that open lane to pass it. And I think at the start of this season I just wanted to get rid of the puck right away. I don't know if it's just confidence or something, but I think I’m moving my feet much better now than I did my first 10 games."

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