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Preview: Blackhawks at Maple Leafs

Chicago forward Marian Hossa out with lower-body injury; Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen to make sixth straight start

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (45-20-5) at MAPLE LEAFS (32-23-14)



Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks, on a three-game winning streak with a 15-3-0 record in their past 18 games, will be without forward Marian Hossa, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 2-1 win at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Hossa's injury is not serious, coach Joel Quenneville said. Forward Tomas Jurco, acquired from the Detroit Red Wings for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft on Feb. 24, is expected to play after being a healthy scratch for the past three games. "We wanted him to get comfortable, get confidence, have the puck," Quenneville said. "He's got some skill and we want him to be comfortable out there with the puck. I think he's a little bit more comfortable with how we play, and we're looking forward to getting him in a spot where he can get some ice time and make a contribution.'' Jurco has no points in six games with Chicago. Goaltender Corey Crawford will start after backing up Scott Darling on Thursday. The Blackhawks lead the Minnesota Wild by three points for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.


Maple Leafs team scope

Goaltender Frederik Andersen will make his sixth consecutive start for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are 4-1-0 in their past five games following a five-game losing streak (0-2-3). The Maple Leafs enter the game even in points with the New York Islanders and one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Boston Bruins are four points ahead of the Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division, but Toronto holds two games in hand. ''It's been good, I think we went through a little bit of a dry spell but it was good the way that we've rebounded,'' defenseman Morgan Rielly said. ''We had a little bit of a hiccup in Florida [a 7-2 loss on Tuesday] but we rebounded well in Tampa Bay [a 5-0 win on Thursday]. We have to go on a little bit of a run here. We know that, we know the importance of every game that we have coming up, so it's just a matter of being ready.'' Toronto has not faced Chicago since a 5-4 shootout loss on Oct. 22 at United Center. The Maple Leafs led 4-2 until the Blackhawks scored twice in the final 2:28 of third period to tie the game.


Blackhawks projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- John Hayden

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Tomas Jurco

Andrew Desjardins -- Tanner Kero -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Johnny Oduya -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Kempny, Dennis Rasmussen, Michal Rozsival

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body), Marian Hossa (lower body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- Connor Brown

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Matt Martin -- Brian Boyle -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Alexey Marchenko

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Eric Fehr, Josh Leivo, Ben Smith

Injured: Connor Carrick (upper body)


Status Report

Van Riemsdyk was not at the morning skate but Babcock confirmed he will play. Carrick, who has missed 10 games, skated with the main group for the fourth time since sustaining an upper-body injury on Feb. 21, but remains day-to-day.


Who's hot

Kane has 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. Panarin has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. … Bozak has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past seven games. Marner has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games. Nylander has six points (one goal, five assists) in a six-game point streak.

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