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Blackhawks' Panarin out with illness against Stars

Richard Panik steps into second line against Dallas

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

STARS (34-15-5) AT BLACKHAWKS (36-17-4)

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, CSN-CH, SNP, NHL.TV

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will again be without rookie left wing Artemi Panarin against the Dallas Stars at United Center on Thursday. 

Panarin, who missed the 2-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday because of an illness, did not participate in the morning skate Thursday. Afterward, coach Joel Quenneville declared him out.

Panarin's illness is similar to something Chicago captain Jonathan Toews had for a couple weeks prior to the All-Star break. Toews was eventually pulled from a 5-0 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 26 and then missed the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville because of it.

"Comparable, I guess," Quenneville said. "Hopefully it's not long term, but [Panarin's] definitely out tonight."

Forward Richard Panik skated in Panarin's spot at left wing on the second line with center Artem Anisimov and right wing Patrick Kane during line rushes. Teuvo Teravainen got the initial opportunity in that role against San Jose before Quenneville began cycling different forwards through that spot.

Panarin's absence also means forward Jiri Sekac will stay in the lineup and begin the game on the fourth line.

Panarin's absence was noticeable.

"I think one game, across the board, we didn't have the energy that we were looking for," Quenneville said. "Certainly we know how good [Panarin] is and you appreciate what he brings to your team. Obviously he has to be a concern for the other team, as far as that line or him being on the ice. It helps your power play and we know how productive that line's been all year. Definitely you miss him. We tried a couple things last time on that line. We'll try [Panik] there tonight and see how that works out."

It's a big game for the Stars for a number of reasons.

Dallas would like to respond from a 5-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Feb. 6, but getting a win would reward forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya as well.

It will be the first regular-season game in Chicago for the former Blackhawks, who helped clinch the 2015 Stanley Cup championship at United Center on June 15, 2015 and then joined the Stars in the offseason.

It's also a milestone game for Sharp, whose family will be present to watch him play his 800th NHL game. That includes Ian Sharp, his father, who is along as part of the fathers' trip.

"A little weird how that happens," said Sharp, who played 10 seasons with the Blackhawks and won the Stanley Cup three times. "Eight hundredth game in the building that I played the bulk of those games in. It should be fun. The first couple of games against the [Blackhawks] were difficult to play in, a little emotional, a little weird out there, but [there are] valuable points on the line, so I'm sure those feelings go away as the season goes on."

Sharp and Oduya each said they took a quick look up at the rafters to spot the 2015 championship banner.

"I wasn't here for the ceremony, but I watched that on TV," said Oduya, who played three-plus seasons in Chicago. "Obviously that's something that's exciting for the city and for the team and organization and everything, so you have a quick peek, but you also know what you need to do tonight."

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is expected to make his seventh straight start and fifth consecutive since the All-Star break. Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice at the Stars' morning skate and is expected to make his second straight start in net.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Patrick Sharp

Valeri Nichushkin - Mattias Janmark - Ales Hemsky

Travis Moen - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Scevior

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg

Johnny Oduya - Jason Demers

Patrik Nemeth - Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Injured: Jason Spezza (upper body)

Scratched: Radek Faksa, Jyrki Jokipakka, Jamie Oleksiak


Andrew Shaw - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Richard Panik - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Andrew Desjardins - Phillip Danault - Teuvo Teravainen

Jiri Sekac - Dennis Rasmussen - Brandon Mashinter

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook

Rob Scuderi - Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Injured: Marcus Kruger (left wrist), Artemi Panarin (illness)

Scratched: Michal Rozsival

Status report: Teravainen will begin the game at his usual spot on the third line, but could be moved around the lineup if Quenneville is looking to spark the offense. ... During line rushes, Sekac and Mashinter flipped wing positions from where they skated Tuesday. ... Faksa skated outside the top four lines and appears headed for his first scratch since being recalled from Texas of the American Hockey League on Feb. 5.

Who's hot: Crawford has allowed one goal in three of his four starts since the All-Star break. ... Klingberg has goals in three of the past four games and points in four of the past five.

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