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Blackhawks have just one win in their last six, as Hossa’s absence looms large

Vladimir Tarasenko breaks the 1-1 tie late in the third when he tries to send the puck back, but instead sends it ricocheting off the skate of Niklas Hjalmarsson.

In case anyone needed to be reminded that Marian Hossa is a really good hockey player, the Blackhawks have gone 1-4-1 since he got hurt.

That record includes the 4-3 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 20, the game Hossa had to leave in the first period with an upper-body injury. The 37-year-old is still unable to play.

The ‘Hawks sure could’ve used him in today’s Winter Classic, a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium.

Hossa’s 16 goals are tied with Artem Anisimov’s for the most on the Blackhawks, so his absence was bound to be felt. And it’s more than just his offense. Hossa is also excellent defensively, one of the best two-way wingers the game has ever had.

“Hossa’s situation is he skated [Saturday], felt better,” head coach Joel Quenneville said yesterday, per “He will not be playing [in the Winter Classic].”

Chicago’s only goal today came from a defenseman, Michal Kempny.

The ‘Hawks were also without injured center Marcus Kruger, and they will be for a little while longer.

The good news? Chicago (23-12-5) has built such a comfortable playoff cushion that it can afford to go through a tough stretch.

The ‘Hawks return home for four games, starting Thursday against Buffalo.