SAN JOSE, Calif. – Marian Hossa will play after taking this morning off and Corey Crawford will start when the Chicago Blackhawks play the San Jose Sharks tonight.
The Blackhawks are coming off a strong rebound game against the Vancouver Canucks, against whom they scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 victory. They know they’ll have to play that type of hockey more as this road trip continues.
“We were back to the way we’re used to playing. We all had some responsibility, we played an accountable style of game, had some big penalty kills and contributions from all over the lineup,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “We did what we had to do to win. Going forward, we can take a lot of those things we did and try to implement them on a consistent basis, remind ourselves what we were before this little skid. We’ll try to get back to the same way tonight.”
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Bryan Bickell will be a healthy scratch for the third time in the last four games. Michal Rozsival will draw in as the sixth defenseman.
The Blackhawks will be playing a frustrated Sharks’ team that’s scored just one goal in its last three games, all losses. Sharks coach Todd McLellan talked about the lack of offense, but stressed his team needs to take care of things on the other end as well.
“We had a message delivered today: while we’re looking for offense, which obviously we are, we can’t lose sight of some of the other areas of the game. I refer back to Edmonton; we don’t score, we have 60 shots, the story is the goaltender plays great. But there was little discussion about the mistakes we made defensively. The same could be said in Calgary, where we were not as clean as we needed to be around the rink. When you’re not scoring three or four goals a night, you have to be preventing and we haven’t been able to do that the last couple of nights.”
Antti Niemi will get the start for the Sharks, who will still be without forward Logan Couture (hand surgery).