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At the Rink: Devils at Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger
CHICAGO -- Rookie forward Ryan Hartman will live out a dream and defenseman Kyle Cumiskey will get another shot to revive his when the Chicago Blackhawks face the New Jersey Devils at United Center on Friday.

The Blackhawks recalled the duo from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Thursday, and reassigned rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen. Cumiskey, 28, will take the place of veteran Michal Rozsival, who's out with an upper-body injury. Hartman, the 30th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, will bring his hard-edged game to the right wing of the fourth line.

"I was just sitting in bed, chilling, and I got the call," said Hartman, 20, who's originally from the Chicago suburb of West Dundee, Ill. "I didn't have any words. I'm kind of speechless. It's good to be here."

Hartman, who scored eight goals and had 10 assists in 47 games for Rockford, is playing his first full season of professional hockey. He finished his junior career last season with the Plymouth Whalers, after scoring 113 points (48 goals, 65 assists) in 108 games in the Ontario Hockey League. Hartman played with the United States Development Team from 2010-2012 and represented the United States in the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships.

He began his hockey career with the Chicago Mission AAA, and he'll have a lot of family and friends in the stands.

"I grew up a Hawks fan, grew up watching the Hawks," Hartman said after the morning skate. "Being a part of the organization and wearing the jersey is pretty cool, pretty special for me and my family. My dad and I watched Tony Amonte and guys like that. My dad and his family have been Hawks fans their whole lives, so it's definitely a dream come true."

Cumiskey's dream was derailed following the 2010-11 season. After playing parts of five seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, he played the past two in the Swedish Hockey League. Signed as a free agent by the Blackhawks, he made a good impression during training camp and started off with Rockford, after clearing waivers.

He has a goal and 10 assists, with a minus-1 rating, in 38 games for the IceHogs.

"It's tough when you make it [to the NHL] and you regress," said Cumiskey, a puck-mover and good skater. "I kind of bided my time and it's very exciting to get an opportunity here."

Blackhawks forward Ben Smith will be a healthy scratch for the first time. Smith, who has five goals and four assists, hasn't recorded a point in 19 straight games. He has one point, an assist, in the previous 22 games.

"I'm not happy about it, obviously," Smith said of sitting out. "That's what happens when you're not playing to your potential and capabilities. I'll just try and learn from it, watch the game tonight, find the positives from it and hopefully get a chance sometime soon."

The Devils skated with the same lines they had in practice the previous two days, but defenseman Eric Gelinas and forward Michael Ryder will re-enter the lineup. Ryder has been scratched in all seven games following the All-Star break, while Gelinas has sat out the previous six. Defenseman Mark Fraser will sit, along with veteran Martin Havlat, a former Blackhawks forward.

"Michael's worked very hard in practice," Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "He's just done everything to get himself in the lineup and he brings a dimension. Unfortunately, [Havlat] had to be the decision."

Goalie Cory Schneider will start for New Jersey, which has lost two games in a row. Corey Crawford will start for Chicago, which has started an eight-game homestand with two overtime losses.

Here are the projected lineups:


Adam HenriqueScott GomezSteve Bernier

Patrik EliasTravis ZajacJordin Tootoo

Tuomo RuutuMike CammalleriJaromir Jagr

Dainius ZubrusJacob JosefsonMichael Ryder

Andy GreeneAdam Larsson

Jon MerrillMarek Zidlicky

Eric GelinasPeter Harrold

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Martin Havlat, Mark Fraser

Injured: Stephen Gionta (hand), Damon Severson (ankle), Bryce Salvador (lower body), Ryane Clowe (concussion)


Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa

Kris VersteegBrad RichardsPatrick Kane

Bryan BickellAndrew ShawDaniel Carcillo

Patrick SharpMarcus KrugerRyan Hartman

Duncan KeithNiklas Hjalmarsson

Johnny OduyaBrent Seabrook

Kyle CumiskeyMichal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Ben Smith

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (patella surgery), Tim Erixon (lower body), Michal Rozsival (upper body)

Status report: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he will rejoin Oduya and Hjalmarsson as a defense pairing, but didn't say whether he'd reunite the usual top pairing of Keith and Seabrook. … Sharp played a limited amount at right wing, but has played better from the left wing. That could be part of starting him on the fourth line. … Clowe made the trip to add leadership in the locker room, according to Lamoriello, but won't play again this season.

Who's hot: Hossa has scored six goals in his past nine shots and has three straight two-goal games. His season shooting percentage in that span has increased dramatically, from 6.5 percent to 9.9 percent on 162 shots.

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