Gould, McManis, Steltz to IR, PK Mare signed

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Gould, McManis, Steltz to IR, PK Mare signed

Less than a week before a pivotal meeting with the Green Bay Packers, the Bears' special teams took a series of blows on Tuesday when kicker Robbie Gould and No. 2 special teams tackler Sherrick McManis were placed on injured reserve along with safety Craig Steltz.

To replace Gould, the Bears added veteran kicker Olindo Mare in addition to signing linebacker Jerry Franklin to a two-year deal and moving wide receiver Joe Anderson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The Bears waived veteran guard Andre Gurode, signed Nov. 27 but not used in the Minnesota game when the Bears replaced Edwin Williams at left guard with undrafted free agent James Brown.

Gould, the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, injured his calf in pregame warmups before Sundays game against the Minnesota Vikings. He was able to kick extra points after both Bears touchdowns but was unable to kick off. Punter Adam Podlesh handled kickoffs.

McManis suffered a knee injury against the Vikings and was tied for second on the team with 10 special teams tackles.

Steltz had two special teams tackles and a forced fumble against the Vikings and had 12 tackles at safety, providing backup to starters Chris Conte and Major Wright this season.

Familiar face

Mare was the winner of a kicking competition at Halas Hall on Tuesday and comes with 15 NFL seasonsof experience with four teams. He started with the Miami Dolphins in 1997-2006, went to the New Orleans Saints in 2007, the Seattle Seahawks from 2008-10, and was with the Panthers in 2011.

Mare, who was successful on 22 of 28 field goals last season, has converted 350 of 431 field goals for his career and all but six of his 486 PATs for a total of 1,530 points.

He also has substantial experience kicking against the Bears, in Soldier Field and elsewhere. Mare converted field goals from 29, 39 and 38 yards in Carolinas 34-29 loss to the Bears last season and three extra points in Seattles 2010 win over the Bears. He connected on four of six field goal tries (46, 37, 39, 46 yards) when the Bears won at Seattle in 2009.

Ironically, the two misses against the Bears were Mares only two all season.

Mare provided the final three points in Miamis 31-13 upset of the Bears in 2006 and was good from 27 and 29 yards in Miami in the Dolphins 2002 victory over Chicago.

Gould loss

Gould had told CSNChicago.com on Monday that he felt great and planned to rehab a little bit, get ready for practice and get ready to beat Green Bay.

Gould has had 10 game-winning field goals in his career, most recently for the victory over the Panthers in addition to tying the Seattle game with a 46-yard field goal as time expired at the end of regulation.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Scott Darling gets the nod.

Joel Quenneville is giving a struggling Corey Crawford a breather tonight, electing to go with Darling in the final game of the father's road trip. Darling is 11-4-2 with a 2.34 goals against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 20 games this season. His numbers aren't as great on the road, where he is 4-2-1 with a 2.83 GAA and .901 save percentage compared to a 7-2-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage at home, but he fared well against Boston last season. The Lemont native stopped 42 of 46 shots, good for a .913 save percentage, in a 6-4 win at the United Center last April.

2. The Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line.

The Blackhawks' trio of Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin had a rare zero points in Tuesday's 6-4 win over Colorado, but don't expect to see that again. In fact, it could be the opposite. In their last meeting against the Bruins, a 6-4 win on April 3 during the 2015-16 season, they combined for 11 points (five goals, six assists), highlighted by a Kane hat trick that put him at 100 points on the season for the first time in his career. 

3. How the rookies build off a monsterous game.

In arguably the most well-rounded victory of the season Tuesday in Colorado, the Blackhawks had three rookies that had multi-point efforts. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals, including the game winner. Tanner Kero had two goals and one assist, while Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. It was the top-six that was doing the heavy lifting earlier in the season, now the bottom-six is slowly starting to contribute on a consistent basis. The Blackhawks will be in great shape if they can confidently roll four lines that have the potential to find the back of the net on any given shift.

4. Patrice Bergeron vs. Jonathan Toews.

Two of the best two-way centers in the league will go head-to-head, and it's always a fun matchup to watch. Bergeron leads the league with 597 faceoff wins, and is ranked fifth with a 58.4 percentage at the dot while Toews ranks eighth in wins with 473 — despite missing nine games with a back injury — and sits at sixth with a 57.5 percentage. Both of the perennial Selke Trophy candidates have struggled offensively this season, with Bergeron recording only 21 points in 45 games and Toews with 22 points in 38 contests. Bergeron has been heating up as of late, though, scoring three goals and six assists in his last eight games. Bergeron also leads the league in possession numbers, with the Bruins controlling 61.9 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when he's on the ice.

5. Brad Marchand.

In September, Marchand inked an eight-year, $49 million deal and it's already paying dividends for the Bruins. He has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last eight games, and 45 points total, which is by far the most on his team and tied for sixth in the NHL. He's 16 points away from tying his career high of 61 set last season, with a little less than half the year to go. He's also had great success against the Blackhawks. In his last six games against Chicago, dating back to the 2013-14 campaign, he has registered at least a point in all of them, scoring four goals and adding five assists. To make life more difficult, he's a player that enjoys getting under people's skin, so expect him to be a big factor tonight.

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