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Preview: Blackhawks at Sharks

Chicago's Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane to flip lines; San Jose seeks back-to-back wins

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (13-5-2) at SHARKS (10-8-1)

10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, WGN, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

Right wings Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa will switch lines when the Chicago Blackhawks play the San Jose Sharks. Kane will move from the top line to the second line and be reunited with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Hossa will skate with center Jonathan Toews and Nick Schmaltz. "We're trying to get a little bit more balance in our scoring there," coach Joel Quenneville said of splitting Kane and Toews. "This trip, we haven't been very productive in generating offense or generating scoring chances, enough sustained pressure in the offensive zone. So we'll see if we can get a little more predictability in our offense." Toews has gone seven games without a goal; Kane has one goal in his past seven. Quenneville said he would have made the move sooner if Hossa hadn't been so hot; he has six goals in his past eight games. "I think you look at the way Hossa has been paying, he's been so strong on pucks, keeping plays alive," Toews said. "I think for myself; if I want to get more chances and create more offense, I've got to do much of the same. I've got to be hard on the puck. I think in some situations where I make contact I'm just giving up possession a little bit too easy." Defenseman Michal Rozsival will return after being a healthy scratch Monday for a 5-0 loss at the Edmonton Oilers. He'll replace Michal Kempny and skate with Gustav Forsling. "I think [Rozsival's] played well when he's come in," Quenneville said. "We got seven guys and we want to keep everybody moving around. Sometimes it's not so much performance. We just basically want to keep everybody going."

 

Sharks team scope

Defenseman Brent Burns will play his first game since signing an eight-year, $64 million contract extension Tuesday. "I think it's just good to get it over with," Burns said after the optional morning skate. "It was obviously a big day. It just comes down to winning now and getting back to where we want to be." The Sharks opened their five-game homestand with a 4-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Monday but are 4-5-1 in their past 10 games and trying to regain the consistency they had when they reached the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. "We've been on the road a lot," Burns said. "Feel good about our team. I know we've got stuff to work on, but where we're at we feel pretty good. It's just a matter of we [have] to take advantage of these homestands and keep playing our game, keep getting everything in order." Forward Melker Karlsson (left ankle) will miss his fifth straight game but is "close" to returning," coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's getting better every day. He had a full practice yesterday." Rookie forward Kevin Labanc will return to the lineup on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch Monday.

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Vinnie Hinostroza -- Jonathan Toews -- Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger -- Richard Panik

Ryan Hartman -- Nick Schmaltz -- Tyler Motte

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brian Campbell -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Kempny, Andrew Desjardins, Jordin Tootoo

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Joel Ward

Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Matt Nieto

Micheal Haley -- Tommy Wingels -- Kevin Labanc

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo

Injured: Tomas Hertl (lower body), Melker Karlsson (left ankle)

 

Status report

Van Riemsdyk will miss his 10th straight game, but Quenneville said he "could be close to playing" after the Blackhawks' seven-game road trip ends Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. ... Tierney, who was hit in the face by a deflected puck in the third period Monday, skated Wednesday morning and will be in the lineup. He returned to the game Monday but did not practice Tuesday. "It was pretty swollen yesterday," Tierney said. "I think it was just kind of a day to rest and make sure it went down and nothing was wrong."

 

Who's hot

Hossa has goals in 10 of his past 13 games and leads the Blackhawks with 11. He also leads the Blackhawks with 17 career goals against San Jose in 35 games. … Pavelski has a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and leads the Sharks with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists).

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