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Practice Report: Stewart To Return Sunday

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks will activate winger Karl Stewart for Sunday's home game against the Blues.

Craig MacDonald, up from Norfolk on an emergency recall, has been re-assigned to the Admirals.

Stewart has been practicing with the team but has sat out the last three games with soreness in his knee. He originally sprained his knee Dec. 22 against Toronto and missed 11 games.

Coach Denis Savard said Stewart is "feeling better" and that he looks forward to having the feisty winger back in the lineup.

Savard said defenseman Cam Barker is likely to miss a second straight game with a badly bruised foot, which he suffered against Detroit on Wednesday.

Let's get physical: Savard doesn't believe winger Tuomo Ruutu will get suspended by the league for his hit on the Sharks' Kyle McLaren late in the game Thursday.

"I don't think he should get a suspension," Savard said. "You expect to get hit as a defenseman and McLaren turned a bit. Ruutu is just a physical player who went in there to finish his check."

Bulin Wall staying put: Savard deferred trade deadline talk to general manager Dale Tallon but said he didn't expect netminder Nikolai Khabibulin to be headed out of Chicago.

"He's a great goalie," Savard said. "He's not going anywhere."

Savard will use Khabibulin in goal Sunday against St. Louis and said he will play the next few games in a row.

Nice look: The Blackhawks had a fitting session Friday for the league's new Reebok prototype jersey. At least two Blackhawks, Martin St. Pierre and Karl Stewart, said they were comfortable in the tighter jerseys.

"They're a little different. I'd like to see them with the Indianhead," St. Pierre said. "Everybody looks skinnier."

"It's better, actually, because they fit tighter around your forearm and you're not always pulling your sleeves up," said Stewart.

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