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Posted On Friday, 03.21.2014 / 2:16 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks missing key regulars vs. Hurricanes

CHICAGO -- The first game without forward Patrick Kane in the lineup will be an even bigger challenge than it normally would be for the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at United Center.

When Chicago faces the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blackhawks also will be without forwards Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell, each of whom is out with an upper-body injury, and defenseman Michal Rozsival, who has a lower-body injury. All three are considered day-to-day.

The Blackhawks, who won't have Kane for the rest of the regular season because of a lower-body injury, also won't suit up 19-year old rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen, who arrived in Chicago on Thursday from Finland.

"It is what it is," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate. "Everybody has issues, healthwise, over the course of a season, and I don't know if there's any good time that you've got to deal with it, but we've been fortunate as far as that's gone throughout most of the season. Right now we're dealing with a little bit of it, nothing of the serious end. Missing [Kane] really gives you a lot of different things that you can try right now, and hopefully some guys absorb and take advantage of that situation."

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.19.2014 / 7:05 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Saad out of lineup as Blackhawks face Blues

CHICAGO -- Forward Brandon Saad will not play for the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues at United Center.

The Blackhawks are hoping Saad, who missed a 3-2 overtime loss Tuesday at the Philadelphia Flyers with an undisclosed upper-body injury, could play Friday here against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"See how he is [Thursday]," coach Joel Quenneville said prior to puck drop against St. Louis. "Good chance [he returns] by the weekend. Fingers crossed for Friday."

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Posted On Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 6:10 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bertuzzi will try to return for Red Wings

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Red Wings were hoping to sneak up on the Chicago Blackhawks and steal a victory Sunday at United Center (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2, NBCSN).

Instead, the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks (38-15-14) are searching for the smelling salt and their snarl after losing two straight games and falling to third in the Central Division.

"I wish they had won 10 in a row so they would be taking us lightly," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters in Detroit on Saturday. "They've dropped a couple in a row here and that's part of the business. Real good teams have some lulls in the season and then they usually get rolling again, and without question I'm sure they will."

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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:12 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Hossa approaching return from injury

CHICAGO -- Forward Marian Hossa is close to returning from an upper-body injury for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are looking to get hot during the stretch run of the regular season.

Hossa participated in the morning skate Friday at United Center prior to their game against the Nashville Predators and hopes to return to the lineup Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings or Tuesday at the Philadelphia Flyers.

"Hopefully it's one of those two games," Hossa said. "You're never happy when something like this happens but it's part of our sport. You want to be back right away but it takes some time. Hopefully the time will come in those two games, Philly or Detroit, and I'll be back."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 2:04 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Legwand set for Red Wings debut, Lidstrom ceremony

DETROIT -- David Legwand has been inside the Detroit Red Wings locker room at Joe Louis Arena before, but never with his nameplate over one of the stalls.

That changed Thursday morning. Legwand, originally from suburban Detroit, rekindled some of his childhood dreams by pulling on a Red Wings uniform for the first time.

After spending his entire 15-year NHL career in the Music City for the Nashville Predators, the 33-year old Legwand took part in his first morning skate in the Motor City as a Red Wing.

"I think every kid growing up here is a Red Wings fan, as they should be," Legwand said. "The tradition, the history, the players that have been here from the past, they’ve meant a lot to the city and to the team."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 2:45 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Saad's versatility key for Blackhawks with Hossa out

CHICAGO -- A combination of skill and versatility make Brandon Saad a valuable asset for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are prepared to lean heavily on the second-year forward to fill in for injured Marian Hossa.

Saad's two-way style is even starting to resemble Hossa's, so it's not too surprising he'll get the first look to fill the Blackhawks' vacant spot at right wing on the top line Tuesday night at United Center in a big game against the Colorado Avalanche.

After playing all of last season on the left side of that line, Saad has shifted around the lineup this season. He's played on both wings, on the second and third lines, and even dabbled a bit at center in training camp. That experience could now pay off in a pinch for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who expect to be without Hossa for 2-3 weeks.

"It's huge to have depth on a team," Saad said following Chicago's morning skate. "Injuries are going to happen, so I think with the team we have and the depth we have, it's why we had success before. To be able to fill those roles or take [people's] places as best you can, it's a huge help to the team."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 9:03 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014 Trade Deadline blog

Blackhawks' Bowman prepared to stand pat

CHICAGO -- Those wondering if the Chicago Blackhawks will counter the blockbuster trade pulled off by the St. Louis Blues on Friday can stop now.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman provided an answer Saturday night at Soldier Field before his team faced the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

Rather than making a move in response to the Blues acquiring goalie Ryan Miller and center Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, Bowman said the defending Stanley Cup champions plan to stand pat heading into the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday afternoon (3 p.m. ET).

"I think you can't be reactionary that way," Bowman, who's been at the helm for Chicago's Stanley Cup titles in 2010 and 2013. "Those guys haven't even played a game yet in St. Louis. You kind of have to see how it all shakes out, but we're more focused on what we can do. We have to play good hockey."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.26.2014 / 5:45 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Keith returns, but Blackhawks to alter lineup

CHICAGO -- Duncan Keith will return to the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night at United Center, but another lineup change is coming.

"We might have seven defensemen [playing]," Blackhawks coach Joel Quennevillle told reporters two hours before puck drop against the Winnipeg Jets.

Keith missed Chicago's last game while sick and Chicago lost 2-1 against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center and also missed practice Saturday. Getting him back should help the Blackhawks' puck possession, but Quenneville's news that one of the forwards will likely sit in favor of a defensemen raised a few eyebrows.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.22.2014 / 12:51 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Red Wings get Ericsson back against Blackhawks

DETROIT -- They're still dealing with a glut of injuries, but the Detroit Red Wings are slowly starting to get some players back into their lineup.

The latest is top-pair defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who will play Wednesday night against the rival Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). Ericsson, who's missed two 10-game stints for separate injuries, said he's "good to go," now that a broken rib that sidelined him since late December is healed enough to play.

"It's been [feeling] good, I just knew it was going to take some time," Ericsson said. "I know it was something that wasn't going to get better overnight, so I've been patient about it, I've been trying to stay positive and all that. ... I think the healing process has been faster maybe than they thought, so that's good."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.19.2014 / 10:32 AM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Kane sees Crosby as measuring stick

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane has learned this season that he's no Sidney Crosby.

Not yet, anyway.

The 25-year old Kane, who leads the Chicago Blackhawks in scoring, was hot on the heels of the Pittsburgh Penguins' captain in the NHL points race a couple weeks ago. He's since fallen off Crosby's lead pace of 68 points by 12 points.

"He produces every night," Kane said of Crosby (25 goals and 43 assists). "He's fun to watch. Even on nights where he maybe doesn't have his best game, he still comes out of there with two assists or a goal and an assist. Then there's games where it seems like he's determined, and he's the best player in the world and just dominates the game. You're like, 'Wow, this guy is amazing.' I think he's the best the player in the League for sure."

Heading into the Blackhawks' game Sunday against the Boston Bruins at United Center (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, NHLN-CA), Kane (23 goals and 33 assists) ranks fourth in scoring. He's still having a magnificent season, on pace for what would be a career-high 92 points, but Kane has gone nine straight games without scoring a goal. He has one goal and five assists in the past 10 games.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic