Vinnie Hinostroza questionable for Blackhawks' Friday-night bout with Avalanche

Vinnie Hinostroza questionable for Blackhawks' Friday-night bout with Avalanche

Tyler Motte will start where he finished the last game, on the second line, but Vinnie Hinostroza is questionable for the Blackhawks when they face the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at the United Center.

Hinstroza did not skate on Friday morning due to illness. Michal Kempny took his place on the Blackhawks’ second line in rushes. If Hinostroza cannot play, coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll dress seven defensemen.

“We’ve had a lot of chances in games where we’ve had guys out for big parts of this game,” Quenneville said. “We’ll move it around. (Patrick Kane) has played a lot of shifts out there, as well. We have a lot of options interchanging the lines that we’ll probably see.”

As for Motte, he moved up with Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza after Marian Hossa suffered an upper-body injury against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Motte, who hadn’t scored a goal since Nov. 1, recorded his fourth of the season in the second period.

“It’ll be nice to pay with those guys again, keep building off that chemistry, maybe see more minutes, more offensive-zone draws, more opportunities. But my game can’t change,” Motte said on Thursday. “I gotta continue to get better in the (defensive) zone, shut down the other teams’ chances in our end and make our transition game quick and create offensive opportunities.”

Corey Crawford, returning from appendicitis, will make his first start since Dec. 1.

Tanner Kero will play on the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Jordin Tootoo. He was recalled on Thursday when the Blackhawks placed Artem Anisimov (upper body) on injured reserve.

The Blackhawks will face an Avalanche team that has struggled this season. They have lost five in a row entering Friday’s game; they’ve also been shut out in their last two contests, including a 6-0 loss to Toronto on Thursday night.

Regardless of what happens, the Blackhawks will finish the pre-Christmas schedule atop the Western Conference.

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Watch the Blackhawks take on the Avalanche on Friday night on CSN. Coverage begins with Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7 p.m. followed by all the action from the United Center at 7:30 p.m. You can also catch a live stream of the game right here on and via the NBC Sports app.

Blackhawks' projected lineup

Forward lines

Artemi Panarin, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza, Tyler Motte
Dennis Rasmussen, Marcus Kruger, Richard Panik
Andrew Desjardins, Tanner Kero, Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith and Trevor van Riemsdyk
Brian Campbell and Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling and Niklas Hjalmarsson


Corey Crawford


Artem Anisimov (upper body), Marian Hossa (upper body).

Avalanche's projected lineup

Forward lines

Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen
Joe Colborne, Matt Duchene, Rene Bourque
Blake Comeau, Carl Soderberg, Jarome Iginla
Andreas Martinsen, John Mitchell, Cody McLeod

Defensive pairs

Fedor Tyutin and Tyson Barrie
Nikita Zadorov and Patrick Wiercioch
Francois Beauchemin and Cody Goloubef


Semyon Varlamov

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period


Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks


Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."