Sharp sidelined, Crawford to start vs. Avs

Sharp sidelined, Crawford to start vs. Avs
March 8, 2013, 2:30 pm
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DENVER -- Patrick Sharp will be out 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury, and the Chicago Blackhawks will press on without him when they play the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center tonight.

Sharp was hit along the glass by Colorado defenseman Ryan O’Byrne in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. Sharp hunched over immediately and went straight to the locker room. Coach Joel Quenneville said Sharp will not require surgery on his injury.

Corey Crawford will get the start. Marian Hossa, who was a late scratch on Wednesday, will play tonight. Hossa said his injury had nothing to do with a concussion, and that it was just better not to play the other night.

“I tried to see how it felt in warmups and I didn’t feel 100 percent,” he said. “The smart decision was to take the extra day off and play in the next (game). Right now I feel much better.”

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Andrew Shaw also said he was 100 percent after he took a Paul Stastny elbow to the head on Wednesday. Shaw, who left the game not long after that hit, said he left more for precautionary reasons than anything. As for no fine/suspension for Stastny on the hit, Shaw was fine with that.

“(The league’s) been doing a pretty good job with it,” Shaw said. “They have their protocols and look at video pretty in depth. I think they made the right decision.”

Michael Frolik, who missed the last two games with the flu, will also play tonight. Frolik took a commercial flight into Denver last night. He said he didn’t feel very well after skating yesterday, but felt much better after this morning’ skate.

Meanwhile, with Sharp sidelined, the Blackhawks switched up their lines a bit this morning. Bryan Bickell, who has been part of the team’s stellar third line, moved up to the second with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane. Bickell finished Wednesday’s game with the second line after Sharp left. Daniel Carcillo, who had the game-winning goal on Wednesday, will be on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Viktor Stalberg. The first and fourth lines remain the same.

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The Blackhawks will press on without one of their top players.

“We adapt,” Shaw said. “We’re a great team, and everybody can play with anyone. It’ll be tough to fill that role, but everyone will do their best.”

With their fairly good health and the obvious winning streak, the Blackhawks haven’t needed many line alterations. That third line, especially, has been great. But now that they have to make changes, Quenneville said it still shouldn’t be a problem.

“Guys are familiar with how we have to play, and they go get some shifts and some time with them over the course of the season to date,” he said. “I think they’re excited about the chances.”