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TVR set to return for the Blackhawks in Philadelphia

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

Saturday's tilt in Philadelphia will be a quick trip, a matinee matchup that leads right into a four-game homestand beginning Sunday. The two teams met earlier his season on Oct. 18, a wild back-and-forth affair that ended 7-4 for Chicago. The line of Artem Anisimov (2G, 2A), Patrick Kane (1G, 3A) and Artemi Panarin (2G, 1A) were the big contributors that night.

Jonathan Toews will miss his fifth consecutive game with a reported back injury on Saturday. The team is being cautious with their captain, although he did skate on Friday before the team flew out. Toews was also placed on IR retroactively to make room for defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who has been cleared to return to the lineup tomorrow.

The Flyers have put together a three-game win streak, although they find themselves just at the edge of the Wild Card picture in the Eastern Conference with a 12-10-3 record overall, with only 9 regulation or overtime wins (which would factor into a tiebreak situation). Philadelphia was last in action on Tuesday, notching a 3-2 overtime win in Ottawa after recovering from a 2-0 deficit. The Blackhawks needed extra time to secure a 4-3 victory against New Jersey on Thursday, making it a run of three games that have required overtime.

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Blackhawks activate van Riemsdyk, place Toews on IR

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have activated defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from injured reserve and placed forward Jonathan Toews on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 24.

Van Riemsdyk has appeared in two games for the Blackhawks this season. His last appearance came on Oct. 21 at Columbus and was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 5. Toews has scored four goals and tallied eight assists in 21 games played this year.

The Blackhawks travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Saturday at noon CT. The game can be seen on WGN-TV and heard on WGN Radio AM-720.

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Tickets for 2017 NCAA Frozen Four on sale Thursday

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations / chicagoblackhawks.com

In conjunction with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the University of Notre Dame and Chicago Sports Commission, the United Center and Chicago Blackhawks announced today that tickets for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship, also known as the Men's Frozen Four, will go on sale Thursday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. CT. Fans will be able to purchase tickets on NCAA.com/FrozenFour or by visiting the United Center box office.

This marks the first time the Frozen Four has been held at the United Center. The tournament will take place April 6 & 8, 2017. The Frozen Four is the culmination of the NCAA's 16-team tournament to determine the collegiate national champion. The tournament, which began in 1948, has branded its semi-final and final games as the Frozen Four since 1999. The single-elimination tournament was expanded to its current 16-team format in 2003.

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Blackhawks Charities to sell player holiday cards

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations / chicagoblackhawks.com

Chicago Blackhawks Charities will sell limited-edition holiday cards based on paintings designed by members of the 2016-17 team. There are 10 total card designs created by forwards Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Marcus Kruger, Artemi Panarin, Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews, defensemen Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and goaltenders Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. Cards will be sold in packs of 10 and can be purchased at Blackhawks Stores located at the United Center, on Michigan Avenue and in Oakbrook starting today. Proceeds will benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities. Additionally, 200 autographed cards have been placed randomly within the holiday card packages. Fans who find a signed card are encouraged to share a photo on social media using #BlackhawksBrushstrokes.

The original acrylic paintings will be auctioned off on chicagoblackhawks.com starting at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday, Dec. 4, through Monday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m. CT. Proceeds will also benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

Video: Blackhawks players create holiday paintings

Chicago Blackhawks Charities focuses on health and wellness, education and housing, striving to serve local citizens and impact the lives of youth and their families in and around the city of Chicago. Since its inception in October 1993, Chicago Blackhawks Charities has granted over $16 million to local nonprofit organizations that fit within our mission.

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Blackhawks open December schedule against New Jersey

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Blackhawks open a packed December schedule with their second and final meeting with New Jersey this season. Chicago prevailed 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 28 for their first road victory of the year to kick off a seven-game win streak. Artemi Panarin and Marian Hossa scored in regulation, while Artem Anisimov provided the game-winner in extra time.

New Jersey dropped a 3-2 decision on Tuesday in Winnipeg, getting goals from rookies Miles Wood and Nick Lappin, and have been victorious in just one of their last seven outings; their last regulation win came on Nov. 12.

Taylor Hall, New Jersey's prize acquisition last offseason, re-joined the team earlier this week, taking the ice for the first time since undergoing knee surgery two weeks ago. He traveled with the team, which means he could return either Thursday or Saturday in Nashville-something the Blackhawks are keeping a close eye on.

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All-Star

2017 NHL All-Star fan voting opens worldwide Dec. 1

Balloting will determine four captains for Jan. 29 game in Los Angeles

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com

NEW YORK - Hockey fans will again determine the four All-Star captains for the 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 29 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, SN, TVAS) when the 2017 NHL All-Star Fan Vote™ opens worldwide on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. ET at NHL.com/vote and via the NHL® App.

For the second straight year, the All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring four teams representing each NHL division. Fans will cast votes online at NHL.com/vote and via the NHL App for one player from each Division, without regard to position. Voting concludes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 2, with the top vote-getters by division - regardless of position - named All-Stars and captains.

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Blackhawks face Panthers, new coach in return to UC

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

Tuesday marks the Blackhawks' first game at the United Center since Nov. 13, as the team completed a 3-3-1 Circus Trip that featured ups and downs. The roster did suffer some injuries at the beginning and end of the journey, but Chicago did get important contributions from key players and newcomers. Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin shared the club lead with five points each in seven games, while Ryan Hartman tallied a team-best three goals.

The Blackhawks' homecoming opponents will be the Florida Panthers, who are on the second stop of a season-long six-game road trip that has begun under a shroud of uncertainty. Following a 3-2 loss on Sunday in Carolina, Gerard Gallant was relieved of his head coaching duties, which will be assumed in the interim by General Manager Tom Rowe.

Under Gallant, the Panthers began the season 11-10-1 and currently sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, with injuries a big culprit for the team's inconsistencies. While only top-line center Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman Alex Petrovic currently remain on IR, Florida also lost veteran Jussi Jokinen for a couple of weeks in late October, and top-six forward Nick Bjugstad was out of action from the start of the season until Nov. 22, and is still playing a somewhat limited role.

The Blackhawks and Panthers split the season series in 2015-16, with both teams winning at home; Kane and Brent Seabrook led the team with three points each in Chicago's 3-2 win on Oct. 22.

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Prospect Roundup: Noel nets two straight hat tricks

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

On Mondays, chicagoblackhawks.com will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college or European teams in the previous week's action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the season.

1st Star: C Nathan Noel, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
The line: 2GP, 6G, 1A, two hat tricks

Noel's big week for Saint John began on Wednesday, when he scored a hat trick and added a helper, figuring in all of his team's goals in a 4-3 win over Cape Breton. The 2016 fourth-round pick followed that up with another hat trick last Friday to help the Sea Dogs record a 4-2 win over Quebec. Noel now ranks second on the team with 13 goals this season and leads the club with three game-winners.

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Blackhawks conclude Circus Trip with tilt in L.A.

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

By virtue of their 3-2 victory over Anaheim on Friday afternoon, the Blackhawks are now 3-3-0 on the Circus Trip with one matchup remaining. On Saturday night, they'll take on the Los Angeles Kings in the finale with a chance to make it seven straight years with a winning record on the annual two-week sojourn, now in its last edition (for now).

The Kings are on an upward trajectory, having won four in a row to slide into third place in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of Anaheim. They've outscored their opponents 15-8 in those wins, allowing exactly two goals in each tilt. Saturday marks the second meeting of the season between the two teams, after a 3-0 win for the Blackhawks on Oct. 30 at the United Center.

Chicago got a goal and an assist in that game from Jonathan Toews, but the captain is still questionable for Saturday's contest. He left Wednesday's game in San Jose early after taking an awkward fall and missed Friday's outing in Anaheim.

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Blackhawks look for bounce-back effort against Sharks

by Emerald Gao / chicagoblackhawks.com

Chicago's fifth opponent on their two-week Circus Trip will be San Jose, the Stanley Cup runners-up from last year. Like the rest of the Pacific Division, the Sharks haven't had the best start to the season, but they do sit in second place behind Edmonton with a two-point gap and a game in hand. They began a five-game homestand on Monday, blanking the New Jersey Devils 4-0 to snap a three-game winless streak.

San Jose has plenty of firepower on the roster, but haven't been able to translate their league-leading 54.1 shot attempt percentage into consistent offense, ranking 23rd in the NHL with just 2.37 goals per game. As with the Oilers, a big part of the problem has been their power play, which has gone 3-for-32 over their last 10 games. With the talent on both units, the shooting percentages should improve as the season goes on, and the Blackhawks won't want to tempt fate as they did in their 5-0 loss to Edmonton on Monday.

The Blackhawks characterized the outing as a "weird" game, and a look at the stat sheet would confirm the assertion: The team racked up 28 shots on goal through two periods but were undone by untimely penalties late in periods, which allowed a struggling Edmonton power play to break the dam. The conversions dropped Chicago's penalty-kill percentage to 68.3, and they've now been shorthanded 11 times in the last three games, a stat they'd like to improve over the rest of the road trip.

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