Blackhawks looking forward to seeing former teammates

647336.png

Blackhawks looking forward to seeing former teammates

Ray Emery will get the start and it will be reunion timeagain when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Florida Panthers at the United Centeron Wednesday night.Its a first-time return to Chicago for a few ex-Blackhawks, includingBrian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, Kris Versteeg and Jack Skille. Jonathan Toewssaid he caught up with Versteeg and Skille briefly on Thursday night. Buttoday, its back to business for both teams. The Blackhawks are one point outof first in the West and Central, again, and the Panthers are looking to takeover the Southeast Division.Theres some added motivation with some former teammatesand its probably the same for them, too, Toews said. For both teams, theresa lot of motivation in standings. We want to get back to first place andtheyre battling to get to the top of their division. The last couple of gamesare big for both teams going into the break here.The Blackhawks have won four of their last five games andhave gotten points in six straight. The Panthers are 1-2-3 in their last sixgames entering tonights contest.Patrick Kane expects a spirited game.We played in Atlantalast year against a lot of guys on our team the year before, and its almostlike its not a real hockey game, he said. Youre laughing and joking outthere. At the same time you want to beat them, too. Its different, but fun.

Johnny Oduya won't play when Blackhawks face Penguins

Johnny Oduya won't play when Blackhawks face Penguins

The Blackhawks are happy to have Johnny Oduya back in the fold. They just won’t be getting him back on the ice tonight.

Oduya is expected to be here at some point today but will not play when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks got Oduya back on Tuesday night, sending Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick from the 2018 NHL draft to the Dallas Stars.

Coach Joel Quenneville already has designs on re-pairing Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson, who formed a great duo during previous seasons. But that's when Hjalmarsson comes off his upper-body injury; on Tuesday Hjalmarsson was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Thursday.

It's dependent on Oduya's health, too. The defenseman is coming off a re-aggravated ankle injury that cost him more than a month; he was back in the Stars' lineup on Sunday against the Boston Bruins. Quenneville said the Blackhawks will give Oduya as much time as necessary to be 100 percent healthy.

"We'll see how he is and where he's at," Quenneville said. "We're looking forward to getting him on the ice and making sure, coming off this injury, he's more than ready to go."

As for tonight's game, Scott Darling will get the start. Corey Crawford, coming off an illness, skated again this morning and will serve as the backup against the Penguins.

"I felt way better today," Crawford said. "It was a good practice. Just go with the flow, no rush right now. 'Darls' is playing great so that's always good. I just gotta battle, get the timing back in practice and go from there."

Artem Anisimov, who missed Tuesday's practice, skated this morning and will play tonight.

BLACKHAWKS VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

7 p.m.

TV: NBCSN

Live stream: NBC Sports app

Radio: WGN 720 AM

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Andrew Desjardins

 

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Michal Rozsival

 

Goaltender

Scott Darling

 

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body).

Pittsburgh Penguins

Forward lines

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Jake Guentzel

Carl Hagelin-Evgeni Malkin-Patric Hornqvist

Scott Wilson-Nick Bonino-Phil Kessel

Tom Kuhnhackl-Matt Cullen-Eric Fehr

Defensive Pairs

Brian Dumoulin-Ron Hainsey

Cameron Gaunce-Justin Schultz

Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury

INJURIES/ILLNESS: None.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks acquire Johnny Oduya; Bulls routed by Nuggets

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks acquire Johnny Oduya; Bulls routed by Nuggets

Blackhawks bolster defense by reacquiring Johnny Oduya from Stars

Nuggets run Bulls out of the building, end four-game win streak

March Madness: Projecting Opening Day roster for Cubs

NFL Scouting Combine represents opportunities — good and bad — for Bears

Prospect Reynaldo Lopez struggles early, but White Sox top Reds

Michal Rozsival, Jordin Tootoo extensions give Blackhawks flexibility at expansion draft

Looking at Casey Kelly and where Cubs are placing next bets on pitching

Michael Kopech frustrated with first step in quest to prove White Sox right

Will David Ross be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars?

Offseason changes have brought confidence within Fire