Preview: Oduya, Hjalmarsson back in for Blackhawks vs. Wild

Preview: Oduya, Hjalmarsson back in for Blackhawks vs. Wild

Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson are back in the lineup and Corey Crawford starts when the Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild this morning.

Coach Joel Quenneville gave the two defensemen, both of whom were coming off injuries, a rest night when they played in Detroit. The Blackhawks enter today’s game on a two-game losing streak and three points behind the Wild. As for being ready for the early start, Quenneville said the Blackhawks have no choice.

“It’s our [usual] practice time so be ready to start on time,” Quenneville said. “It’s a huge game, meaningful for us. The last two times we played them it was almost a must-win to keep them in our sights and it’s a comparable approach here today. So that should get everyone excited from the outset. Against them, you have to have a purpose behind every shift. They have balance, depth. We all know the meaning of the game so let’s get ready to play at the drop.”

BLACKHAWKS VS. MINNESOTA WILD

11:30 p.m.

TV: NBC

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

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Marian Hossa

Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Jordin Tootoo

 

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

 

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

 

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Scott Darling (hand).

 

Minnesota Wild

Forward lines

Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Chris Stewart

Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter-Martin Hanzal-Ryan White

Charlie Coyle-Erik Haula-Jason Pominville

 

Defensive Pairs

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella-Gustav Olofsson

 

Goaltender

Devan Dubnyk

 

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Victor Bartley (torn triceps), Christian Folin (right arm).

Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya to sit out when Blackhawks visit Red Wings

Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya to sit out when Blackhawks visit Red Wings

DETROIT – Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya will be busy enough down this regular-season stretch. So coach Joel Quenneville is giving them a break on Friday night.

Hjalmarsson and Oduya will be out and Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival will draw back in when the Blackhawks face the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Quenneville said there’s nothing wrong with either Hjalmarsson or Oduya; both returned on Thursday after their respective injuries. But with the very busy schedule out of the break, Quenneville wanted to rest them for this one.

"We have three games in 3 1/2 days, with those guys coming off that one I want to make sure they get a little bit of a break between the games," said Quenneville. "We looked at the back-to-back and three in 3 1/2, it’s not easy to come back from and we have (Nos. 6) and 32 ready to go, so that’s part of it."

The Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild in a late-morning start on Sunday.

Quenneville said there will be one change among the forward lines, too, but didn’t divulge who.

Corey Crawford starts tonight.

Broadcast information

Time: 6:30 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live stream: CSNChicago.com or NBC Sports app

Radio: WGN 720 AM

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Nick Schmaltz-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Marian Hossa

Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries/illness: Scott Darling (hand)

 

Detroit Red Wings (via MLive.com)

Forward lines

Gustav Nyquist-Henrik Zetterberg-Tomas Tatar

Andreas Athanasiou-Dylan Larkin-Riley Sheahan

Justin Abdelkader-Frans Nielsen-Darren Helm

Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Mitch Callahan

Defensive pairs

Dan DeKeyser-Mike Green

Niklas Kronwall-Nick Jensen

Xavier Ouellet-Robbie Russo

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

Injuries/illness: Johan Franzen (concussion), Joe Vitale (concussion), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Ryan Sproul (knee).

Quick Hits: Blackhawks not disruptive enough in loss

Quick Hits: Blackhawks not disruptive enough in loss

Last Friday, the Blackhawks were about a minute away from falling 1-0 to the New York Islanders before they found the late equalizer. There would be no such ending on Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks, who held on to that 1-0 edge.

The Blackhawks have had a nice run lately but, that’s the way it goes sometimes. They’re still in good shape in the conference/division, after the Minnesota Wild also lost. Anyway, the Blackhawks are right back at it on Friday night so let’s get to the notables from this one.

What Worked: Puck possession. Remember earlier this season when this, the Blackhawks’ bread and butter, was AWOL? Well it hasn’t been a problem for a while and it certainly wasn’t an issue on Thursday night. The Blackhawks were in the Ducks’ zone all night, keeping Jonathan Bernier busy and getting good looks, even if they misfired on some of them. Which brings us to… 

What Didn’t Work: Net-front traffic. Tough to find many glitches in this one, other than the Blackhawks didn’t get a goal. A good amount of their first-period shots did come without traffic. Credit the physical Ducks for some of that. The Blackhawks got better at it in the second, but they still couldn’t break through. Coach Joel Quenneville also thought the Blackhawks may have been “looking for the perfect shot. Sometimes with a one-timer, you want to beat him with the quickness, just get it on net.”

Star of the game: Jonathan Bernier. When the Ducks were busy trying to pick fights with the Blackhawks in the first period, Bernier was busy stopping one Blackhawks shot after another. He was strong from the start, putting in an outing that looked like Cam Talbot’s when Edmonton was here a few weeks ago.

He Said It: “No, I think we both felt OK, but OK’s not going to be good enough. So, you know, we’ll work on our game and keep getting better. That’s pretty much what we can do.” Johnny Oduya on he and Niklas Hjalmarsson’s games on Thursday night.

By the Numbers:

19 – Shots by the Blackhawks in the first period. Sizeable number, but the franchise record is 27 shots (second period) by the Blackhawks on Dec. 20, 1959 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

17:36 – Time on ice for Johnny Oduya in his first game back with the Blackhawks. It was only Oduya’s second game since Jan. 17, when he re-aggravated an ankle injury.

2:54 – Shift for Jonathan Toews early in the second period, which was part penalty kill and part lengthy post-kill shift for the Blackhawks in the Ducks’ end.

13:53 – Time, in the second period, that the Ducks hit double-digit shots on goal for the game.

5 – Shutout losses for the Blackhawks this season, their first since a 6-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Jan. 13.