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Blackhawks without Hossa against Coyotes

Chicago forward out with lower-body injury

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (35-37-7) AT BLACKHAWKS (46-26-7)

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS-A, CSN-CH, NHL.TV

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks need to win their final three games to catch the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars in the Central Division, beginning with a game against the Arizona Coyotes at United Center on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks have a chance to finish first or second in the division and gain home-ice advantage for the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Blues and Stars each have to lose their final two games. Chicago also must win against St. Louis on Thursday and at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"That's obviously what we'd like to work for," Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "We're not going to throw the hat in here or anything like that. We'd like to start here at home in front of our fans and have that extra game at home if we need it, but playoff hockey's playoff hockey. We've got to win four games [to win a series], whether we start on the road or start at home. We're just looking forward to starting that."

The Blackhawks will have to defeat the Coyotes without four key players in the lineup.

Forwards Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw and goalie Corey Crawford are all out with injuries. Hossa sustained a lower-body injury in a 6-4 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, Shaw will miss his second game with an upper-body injury and Crawford will miss his ninth straight game with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Duncan Keith is suspended.

Richard Panik, who was scratched against the Bruins, will fill Hossa's spot on the top line with center Jonathan Toews and left wing Andrew Ladd. Tomas Fleischmann, who filled in for Hossa during a previous injury, will play in Shaw's spot at right wing on the fourth line.

"We're looking at some things," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate. "We think balance, for sure, is always something we're looking at, and it gives [Panik] an opportunity to see what he does up there."

Scott Darling will make his 10th straight start and ninth in a row since Crawford was injured. Darling, in his first full NHL season, is 5-3-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in that stretch.

"It's a great opportunity," Quenneville said. "[It's a] big challenge, big games, meaningful games [and Darling] keeps us in the hunt. He's doing what he's got to do. We like that we're comfortable with him in the net. We're playing the same way in front of him."

Arizona, which lost 5-2 at St. Louis on Monday, didn't skate. Louis Domingue will start in net, after Mike Smith allowed five goals on 26 shots against the Blues.

Arizona has four former Blackhawks on its roster: Antoine Vermette, Viktor Tikhonov, Jiri Sekac, and Klas Dahlbeck.

Here are the projected lineups:

COYOTES

Alex Tanguay - Antoine Vermette - Anthony Duclair

Tobias Rieder - Laurent Dauphin - Jiri Sekac

Max Domi - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan

Jordan Martinook - Boyd Gordon - Kyle Chipchura

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy

Kevin Connauton - Zbynek Michalek

Klas Dahlbeck - Alex Grant

Louis Domingue

Mike Smith

Injured: Martin Hanzal (upper body), Eric Selleck (upper body), Michael Stone (lower body), Anders Lindback (lower body), Joe Vitale (lower body)

Scratched: Nicklas Grossman, Viktor Tikhonov, Sergei Plotnikov

BLACKHAWKS

Andrew Ladd - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Brandon Mashinter - Teuvo Teravainen - Dale Weise
Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Tomas Fleischmann

Niklas Hjalmarsson - Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Viktor Svedberg - Brent Seabrook

Erik Gustafsson - Michal Rozsival

Scott Darling

Michael Leighton

Injured: Corey Crawford (upper body), Marian Hossa (lower body), Andrew Shaw (upper body)

Scratched: Christian Ehrhoff, Dennis Rasmussen

Suspended: Duncan Keith

Status report: Crawford went through his third on-ice workout in the past four days and participated in his first morning skate since sustaining the injury March. 15. There is a chance he will return in goal on Saturday. ... Shaw might not play again until the playoffs start. ... Hossa is expected to return prior to the playoffs, in one of Chicago's final two games. ... Ehrhoff is expected to be a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Hanzal is still back in Arizona. ... Grossmann is not with the Coyotes, awaiting the birth of his child. ... Selleck is day-to-day.

Who's hot: Panarin, who was named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday, has three goals and five points in the Blackhawks' past two games. ... Kane has four goals and six points in the past two games. ... Duclair has three goals and four points in the past four games for Arizona.

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