Hawks to skate simulated game tonight

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Hawks to skate simulated game tonight

It wont be the same as Opening Night at the United Center; far from it in the stands, anyway.

But for the Chicago Blackhawks, their simulated game tonight will be as close as they get to a preseason contest and game-like preparation for this shortened 2013 season.

The Blackhawks will face the, well, Blackhawks -- or more likely some Rockford IceHogs -- as they simulate their game-day routine tonight. Seven more players from Rockford will come up to play in tonights game, as coach Joel Quenneville will see his lines in action.

"We're going to have a three-period game," Quenneville said, who added it will be complete with referees. "It's more for the guys to get more familiarity with the lines, defensive pairings and special teams time as well. We'll get the pace. It'll be a real game, real intensity."

READ: Shaw ready for center stage

For players, it's some semblance of a game, which is something.

"It's a good thing," Marian Hossa said. "Lots of guys haven't played for a long time and we need to get that routine going and finally practice our power play and penalty killing. We'll have some structure tonight, and we're going to use it."

For Patrick Kane, it may be getting readjusted to the smaller North American ice again. And a little more time with new linemates Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp.

"I think for all of us, we want to get into game shape," Kane said. "Well get a lot of ice time, get everyone in. It's just fun to play in a game atmosphere with penalties, everything."

READ: Stalberg seeks to emerge as power-play threat

Players skated constantly throughout the lockout. But as many have said, it doesnt make up for the game situations and the timing needed every night. The Blackhawks, like every other team, has scurried in this brief training camp to get their timing back. Is it back yet?

"We're going to see tonight," Hossa said. "We'll play a more 5-on-5 type of game. We don't have much time so it better come quickly."

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

The Blackhawks made a minor league deal on Saturday, announcing the acquisition of forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling.

Latta, 25, has two goals and four assists in 29 games this season with the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

He has four goals and 13 assists in 113 career games in the National Hockey League, all with the Washington Capitals from 2013-16.

Latta, who was a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) by the Nashville Predators in 2009, will report to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. He carries a $600,000 cap hit, and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Schilling ranked second among defensemen on the IceHogs with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games, and had a minus-3 rating. The 28-year-old blue liner signed a two-year contract worth $575,000 per season with the Blackhawks in July 2015.

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

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Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.