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Hossa, Handzus join Sharp on Blackhawks' No. 2 line

by Dan Rosen /

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus will join Patrick Sharp on the Chicago Blackhawks' second line Tuesday night despite not playing a game in the preseason. The Blackhawks open the season against the Washington Capitals at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"Hopefully we don't slow Sharpie down," Hossa told

Hossa had an undisclosed upper-body injury that prevented him from playing in any of Chicago's six preseason games. The injury is believed to be related to his back injury that he sustained in the Stanley Cup Final last season.

"The last three or four practices I feel really good," Hossa said. "The preseason is over and I can focus on real games. I'm sure I'm ready to go."

Handzus missed the preseason while still trying to recover from wrist and knee injuries he suffered in last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I tried to get ready as much as I could and I feel confident," Handzus told "I would have loved to play preseason games, but it is what it is. It's just a game so you have to get ready and I think the mental part is going to be very important for me."

Hossa said his timing may be off a bit at the start of the game, but he thinks he'll adjust quickly.

"The guys played maybe two or three preseason games so they're not huge ahead of me," Hossa said. "It'll be nice to see how I am in the game, but the thing for me will be to keep it simple and slowly get into it."

Here is the full Blackhawks lineup, with lines and defense pairings, for the season opener:

Bryan Bickell - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Marian Hossa

Brandon Saad - Andrew Shaw - Jimmy Hayes

Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Joakim Nordstrom

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratched: Ben Smith, Michael Kostka, Sheldon Brookbank

Injured: none


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