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Preview: Blackhawks at Ducks

Chicago without captain Jonathan Toews; Anaheim expected to start John Gibson

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (13-6-2) at DUCKS (9-7-4)



Blackhawks team scope

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, won't play because of an upper-body injury sustained in the second period of the Blackhawks' 2-1 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Toews didn't participate at practice in El Segundo, California, on Thursday and is listed as day to day. He is questionable for the game at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. "Obviously, he's got so much responsibility, not only as our leader and captain, but the ice time he gets," right wing Patrick Kane told the Blackhawks website Thursday. "He plays in all situations, we know that, but injuries happen in this game." Defenseman Duncan Keith also missed practice, but is expected to play. Rookie Vincent Hinostroza, who filled in for Toews at center on the top line against the Sharks, played the same role in practice. Corey Crawford will start in net for Chicago, which is 2-3-0 on its annual "Circus Trip" with two games remaining.


Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks are expected to start goalie John Gibson, whose most recent start was last Sunday in a 3-2 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. Gibson is 2-2-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in his past five starts. The Ducks are expected to dress defenseman Sami Vatanen, as well. Vatanen missed the final two periods of Anaheim's 3-2 shootout loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday. He participated in all practice activities Thursday and said he's ready to play. The Ducks have lost their past four games against the Blackhawks at Honda Center, and expect another tough game. "I've kind of learned not to be surprised by anything they do," defenseman Cam Fowler told the Orange County Register after practice Thursday. "They seem to be kind of a model of consistency in the NHL and a team that competes no matter who they have there." Anaheim recalled forward Logan Shaw, 24, from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Thursday. Shaw, acquired Nov. 16 in a trade with the Florida Panthers, could make his debut for Anaheim.


Blackhawks projected lineup

Ryan Hartman -- Vincent Hinostroza -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Jordin Tootoo

Tyler Motte -- Nick Schmaltz -- Richard Panik

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Brian Campbell

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Andrew Desjardins

Injured: Jonathan Toews (upper body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermettte -- Ondrej Kase

Ryan Garbutt -- Logan Shaw -- Chris Wagner

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Shea Theodore -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Jared Boll

Injured: Joseph Cramarossa (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Nate Thompson (Achilles), Simon Despres (concussion symptoms)


Status report

In Toews' absence, Hinostroza will center the first line. … Cramarossa will miss his second game and Stoner will miss his third. Shaw centered the fourth line in Anaheim's practice Thursday, playing between Garbutt and Wagner. Theodore again worked with Bieksa in practic.

Who's hot

Hossa has six goals and two assists in the past nine games. … Fowler had a goal and an assist against the Islanders on Tuesday; he also scored in the 14-round shootout.

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