SAN JOSE Niklas Hjalmarsson already had the flu and also has an upper-body injury. And he and Steve Montador are out for the next two games with their respective upper-body injuries.
Hjalmarsson was indeed sick with the flu the past two days. But on Friday morning coach Joel Quenneville said the Swedish defenseman will miss the next two games with an undisclosed injury. He and Montador, who was placed on injured reserve today (retroactive to Tuesday) are headed back to Chicago as the Blackhawks prepare to play the San Jose Sharks tonight and the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow.
Regarding Hjalmarssons illnessinjury status, Quenneville would only say, things changed. Both (Montador and Hjalmarsson) are upper body, day to day.
Sami Lepisto and Dylan Olsen, recalled this morning, will play tonight against the Sharks. Olsen played two games with the Blackhawks in early January. This will be Lepistos first game since Jan. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers.
He can give us some defensive consistency and hes got some offense as well to back it up, Quenneville said. When you have eight D, sometimes have to make some tough decisions. I was telling Sami the other day: Be patient, things can change quickly. And here he is.
Lepisto is understandably eager to get back into the lineup; he said teammates have helped him stay positive.
Theres a good feeling in this locker room, he said. You have to keep yourself positive; but when youre around guys who are having fun it helps a lot. It doesnt help if youre frustrated every day. It just makes your year even longer.
Corey Crawford gets the start for the Blackhawks. Antti Niemi is in for the Sharks.