Raanta in net, Crawford on ice ahead of Blackhawks-Avalanche

Raanta in net, Crawford on ice ahead of Blackhawks-Avalanche
December 27, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Goaltender Antti Raanta will make his 13th appearance Friday night when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center.

Meanwhile, Corey Crawford is making “real good progress” off his lower-body injury, according to coach Joel Quenneville. Crawford was on the ice prior to the team’s morning skate today, taking shots from goaltending coach Steve Weeks. Quenneville said Crawford could travel to St. Louis tomorrow, when the Blackhawks face the Blues, but Crawford will not play in that game.

“He’s had his most intense workout (today),” Quenneville said. “The next couple of days we’ll get him more with the guys. He feels much better.”

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There is no update on Nikolai Khabibulin, who has not skated at all since suffering his lower-body injury against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 16.

Quenneville said he liked how the Blackhawks, fresh of the NHL’s three-day holiday hiatus, were looking out of morning skate. The Avalanche, who had to travel Friday morning ahead of the game, were not skating; but Quenneville was wary of saying the Blackhawks had the edge because they did skate.

“It’s tough to handicap the advantage of something like that,” he said. “They’ve got a young team that goes hard and that’s going to be ready.”