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At the Rink: Senators at Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- After each played Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators opted not to hold morning skates Sunday prior to their game at United Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US,TVA,CITY,WGN).

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean will meet with reporters at 4:30 p.m. ET and Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is set to meet with the media at 5 p.m. ET.

Each is likely to field a few lineup questions.

Quenneville will probably update the health status of forward Daniel Carcillo, who appeared to injure his right knee late in the third period of the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss Saturday at the St. Louis Blues. Following the game, Quenneville estimated that Carcillo might miss more than two weeks. Carcillo flew back to Chicago with the team and is likely to have the knee examined again, so Quenneville might have a clearer timeline on his return.

Jeremy Morin, a healthy scratch the past two games, will likely start in Carcillo's spot at left wing on the fourth line.

That line became a side story in the third period Saturday night because of who Quenneville put at right wing next to center Marcus Kruger. Apparently displeased with the play of Patrick Kane, he put the high-scoring right wing on the fourth line for that period and dramatically reduced his minutes. Whether Kane starts the game in that spot against Ottawa will be something to watch.

MacLean's press conference will likely include questions about the healthy scratches from Saturday and whether any will play Sunday. Most notable among them is 23-year old defenseman Jared Cowen, who despite a $3.1 million charge against the NHL salary cap has sat the past four games. MacLean, who's been playing Patrick Wiercioch in place of Cowen, said Saturday that Cowen just needs to have patience until he gets another chance to play.

Goalie Robin Lehner started for the Senators on Saturday, a 3-2 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils, so Craig Anderson will get the start Sunday against the team that drafted him in 2001. Anderson is also originally from Chicago.

Quenneville didn't reveal his goalie choice Saturday, but there's a chance rookie Scott Darling will start. Darling, who's also from the Chicago area, signed with the Blackhawks as a free agent in the summer after a strong season playing with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. Darling had a strong training camp and started the season in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, but was called up when Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford went down with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups:


Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Bobby Ryan - Mika Zibanejad - Alex Chiasson

Milan Michalek - Zack Smith - Curtis Lazar

Mike Hoffman - David Legwand - Chris Neil

Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Erik Condra

Injured: Marc Methot (back/hip)


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Brad Richards - Kris Versteeg

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Ben Smith

Jeremy Morin - Marcus Kruger - Patrick Kane

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Trevor van Riemsdyk - David Rundblad

Scott Darling

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Michal Rozsival

Injured: Daniel Carcillo (right knee), Corey Crawford (upper body)

Status report: If Darling doesn't start for Chicago, then Raanta will make his fourth straight start. ... If MacLean puts Cowen back into the lineup, he could replace Wiercioch on the second defense pairing. ... Rozsival committed a turnover at the Blackhawks blue line Saturday that led directly to the Blues' second goal, which was controversial because of a video review that allowed the goal by overturning the call on the ice. The turnover combined with his age might lead to the 36-year old Rozsival being a healthy scratch against the Senators.

Who's hot: Ottawa's Karlsson had another assist Saturday and extended his point streak to five games (two goals and three assists). ... Chicago's Sharp upped his team-high point total to eight Saturday at St. Louis by scoring a goal and assisting on another. Sharp has three goals, all scored during power plays, and is fourth in the NHL with six power-play points.

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