CHICAGO -- There were 24 players who participated in Friday's morning skate for the Chicago Blackhawks, which meant good news for a number of injured players in various stages of the recovery process.
The biggest news of the day was star forward Marian Hossa skating for the second straight day after taking a big blow to the back of his head on Tuesday night against Vancouver, but there were other storylines of note. One was starting goalie Corey Crawford (undisclosed upper-body injury), who will return to the bench to back up Ray Emery on Friday night against the San Jose Sharks (8-4-3) at United Center.
It was his second straight team workout and first morning skate since leaving the lineup four games ago.
"I feel good," Crawford said. "I had a pretty good practice [Thursday] and I had to get the timing down a little bit. I felt better today for timing, so I feel ready. I'm 100 percent now."
Top-pair defenseman Brent Seabrook skated for the second straight day after missing Tuesday's 4-3 shootout win against the rival Vancouver Canucks with a lower-body injury, while gritty forward Daniel Carcillo will make his first appearance in a game since a hit in the season-opener against the Los Angeles Kings left him with a knee sprain.
That game was also Carcillo's first back from a torn ACL in the other knee on Jan. 2, 2012 -- which cut short his first season in Chicago.
"The last two years have been a tough road, that's for sure," Carcillo said. "But dealing with the injury last year helped dealing with the early-onset of this injury. It's kind of … a shot to your pride, just because you want to be healthy and you want to be out there with the guys. But they've been playing so well -- it's just a privilege just to come here and be able to play this game. I'm just excited every day I come to the rink and grateful."
Carcillo, who started the season playing left wing on the top line, will start out against the Sharks playing left wing on the fourth line with center Marcus Kruger and right wing Michael Frolik. In other injury-related news, defenseman Steve Montador (upper body, concussion symptoms) also took part in his first morning skate of the season.
"He's going to have to go through practices here and get himself to where he's ready to play," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "That's where he's at. He's cleared some hurdles to where he can get inserted into some practices and he'll tell us when he's ready to go."
In order to make room for Crawford's return, Quenneville said goalie Henrik Karlsson will be sent to Rockford of the American Hockey League on Friday afternoon.
Here's a look at how the Blackhawks will likely lineup against the Sharks:
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp – Dave Bolland – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Viktor Stalberg
Daniel Carcillo – Marcus Kruger – Michael Frolik
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson – Johnny Oduya
Nick Leddy – Michal Rozsival
Scratches: Brandon Bollig, Jamal Mayers, Sheldon Brookbank
Injuries: Steve Montador (upper body, concussion symptoms)