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Hossa back in Blackhawks lineup vs. Stars

Chicago forward missed nine games; Dallas' Johns to make NHL debut

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (41-21-6) AT STARS (40-20-8)

8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CHI, FS-SW, NHL.TV.

DALLAS -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will return to the lineup against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Friday.

He's missed the past nine games because of a lower-body injury sustained Feb. 13 on a hit by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

"I'm ready. I feel good," Hossa said. "Obviously I think it's the right time. I feel better so it's time."

Hossa will skate at right wing on Chicago's top line, alongside center Jonathan Toews and left wing Andrew Ladd.

"Big addition to our team in a lot of ways," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa. "Always good to see him back in the lineup."

Toews did not skate Friday morning but Quenneville said he would play against the Stars. Toews had been checked into an open bench door during their 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Quenneville made several other changes to his forward lines, the most notable being that Andrew Shaw will be at center on the fourth line alongside Richard Panik and Dale Weise.

Defenseman Michal Rozsival left the morning skate early because of a lower-body injury. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson, a healthy scratch Wednesday, will play on the second pair alongside Brent Seabrook.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford will start his third consecutive game.

Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns, a former Chicago prospect, will make his NHL debut. He'll be partnered with Johnny Oduya, who also played for Chicago.

Johns, a second-round pick (No. 60) in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks, was traded to the Stars on July 10, 2015 along with forward Patrick Sharp for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

Johns had four goals and 24 points in 56 games with Texas of the American Hockey League prior to being recalled Tuesday.

"It's hard to put into words," Johns said. "Finally fulfilling your dreams and accomplishing a goal you set out years ago. There's no greater feeling than what I am going to feel in a couple hours."

The Stars did not do line rushes during their morning skate. At practice Thursday coach Lindy Ruff split his usual top-line duo of left wing Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin.

Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice and will make his fourth consecutive start.

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Andrew Desjardins - Teuvo Teravainen - Tomas Fleischmann

Richard Panik - Andrew Shaw - Dale Weise

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook

Trevor van Riemsdyk - Christian Ehrhoff

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Injured: Marcus Kruger (wrist), Michal Rozsival (lower body)

Scratched: Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen


Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Patrick Eaves

Valeri Nichushkin - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie

Antoine Roussel - Tyler Seguin - Ales Hemsky

Mattias Janmark - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour

Kris Russell - Alex Goligoski

Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns

Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Injured: Jordie Benn (lower body), Jason Demers (shoulder), John Klingberg (lower body), Patrick Sharp (lower body)

Scratched: Radek Faksa, Travis Moen

Status report: Quenneville said Rozsival is day-to-day. … Friday will mark the third consecutive game missed for Klingberg and the fourth for Jordie Benn and Sharp.

Who's hot: Ladd has points in four of his five games since being acquired by the Blackhawks on Feb. 25 from the Winnipeg Jets. … Russell has a two-game point streak.

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