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Preview: Blackhawks at Blues

Marian Hossa, Marcus Kruger out for Chicago in Winter Classic; Jaden Schwartz, Nail Yakupov questionable for St. Louis

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (23-11-5) at BLUES (19-13-5)

1 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN, NHL.TV


Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks will not have right wing Marian Hossa (upper body) in the lineup at the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. "In Hossa's situation, he's skating today, felt better," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Sunday. "Will not be playing tomorrow. We're hoping he'll be playing the first game back at home." Center Marcus Kruger also will not play after sustaining an upper-body injury in a 3-2 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday; he was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 30. "[Kruger], we're going to say in and around three weeks he's going to be out," Quenneville said. "That's a big loss for us." The Blackhawks, who have lost four of the past five games (1-3-1), will be playing in their fifth outdoor game and third Winter Classic. But the focus is getting their game right. "With the way things are going with us lately regardless, we need those points," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We need to have a big game against this team. They're going to play really well in front of their own fans. Just add to the fact we're on a big stage and they're going to be excited to take advantage of this opportunity. They'll be ready and we've got to be ready at this point."

Video: CHI@NSH: Toews tips in a timely PPG


Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues forwards Jaden Schwartz and Nail Yakupov each are questionable to play in the Winter Classic with an illness. "We're hoping both Schwartz and [Yakupov] make it in tomorrow," coach Ken Hitchcock said after practice Sunday, "but yeah, we've had this for eight days now and it's been tough for everybody, coaches included. We've all had a tough go with this, but for those guys not to be able to be here, both were not well this morning at all. For both of them not to be able to attend this skate and everything, you can see how sick they are." The Blues will be playing in their first outdoor game and have lost six of their past nine games (3-5-1). "Aside from all this hype, being outside and all that, it's a big game for us against the division team," left wing Robby Fabbri said. "We've got to start stringing some wins together here in the second half, and we've got to start with this one." Defensemen Jay Bouwmeester [2011 NHL Heritage Classic], Robert Bortuzzo [2014 NHL Stadium Series] and Carl Gunnarsson [2014 Winter Classic] are the only Blues players with outdoor-game experience.

Video: NJD@STL: Tarasenko snipes one top shelf for PPG


Blackhawks projected lineup

Ryan Hartman -- Jonathan Toews -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Dennis Rasmussen -- Tanner Kero -- Richard Panik

Tyler Motte -- Andrew Desjardins -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brian Campbell -- Brent Seabrook

Michal Kempny -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Gustav Forsling

Injured: Marian Hossa (upper body), Marcus Kruger (upper body)


Blues projected lineup

Alexander Steen -- Paul Stastny -- David Perron

Jaden Schwartz -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri -- Patrik Berglund -- Dmitrij Jaskin

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nail Yakupov, Ty Rattie, Brad Hunt

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)


Status report

Tootoo, a healthy scratch Friday, will return in Kruger's absence. ... Rattie skated in Schwartz's spot at practice Sunday and could play for the first time since Nov. 28 if Schwartz is out. Steen moved up to play with Stastny and Perron after centering Lehtera and Tarasenko on Friday.


Who's hot

Panarin has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in the past 10 games. Kane has three goals and six assists in the past eight games. ... Fabbri has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in the past 11 games. Tarasenko has 10 goals and seven assists in 18 games against the Blackhawks.

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