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Blackhawks suffer key injuries in win over Avs

by Brian Hedger / Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO – Just like that, the Chicago Blackhawks are being tested by multiple health issues all at once.

Not only did star right winger Marian Hossa (upper body injury) miss Wednesday night's thrilling 3-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at United Center unexpectedly, but the Blackhawks also lost left winger Patrick Sharp at 7:49 of the third period and third-line center Andrew Shaw late in the second.

Sharp got driven hard into the boards by Ryan O'Byrne and left the ice immediately, while holding his left shoulder. Shaw, meanwhile, made contact with Paul Stastny while trying to deliver a hit near the Blackhawks bench.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa is planning to play Friday at Pepsi Center in Colorado, while Shaw and Sharp will be re-evaluated by the team's medical staff Thursday.

"Hossa, he was close to playing," Quenneville said. "He tried to warm up, but he'll be ready for the next game. [We] don't think [Shaw's] serious. Sharpie's a little bit more [serious]. He may miss some time."

Quenneville said he did not think Sharp's injury was a threat to end his season, however.

Hossa was a surprise scratch, which meant the Blackhawks found themselves with a shortage of forwards up front to start the game – after Michael Frolik (illness) didn't play for a second straight game and Brandon Bollig was sent to Rockford of the American Hockey League earlier in the day to make room for defenseman Steve Montador's return to the roster.

Daniel Carcillo, who wound up scoring the game-winning goal with just 49.3 seconds left in the third period, played Hossa's right side on the top line – while extra defenseman Sheldon Brookbank helped fill in for Frolik at right wing on the fourth unit.

Quenneville said that getting Hossa back before Friday will help the depleted forward depth, but said the Blackhawks' coaches and front office will take a look at their options should Shaw and Frolik not make the trip.

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