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Blackhawks vs Devils game preview: Patrick Sharp returns; Scott Darling, Klas Dahlbeck starting

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Chicago has outscored opponents 22-9 during their 6-game win streak.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Sharp will be activated from injured reeve and return to the Chicago Blackhawks lineup Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils.

The Blackhawks swept the season series last season and Chicago have won five of the last seven encounters between the two teams.

The leg injury kept Sharp out of the lineup for a little over a month, 14 games, a week longer than expected by the team. The winger has accumulated nine points in 13 games and is slated to join Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw on the third line in his return. He recorded 34 goals and a career-high 78 points in 82 games last season. Brandon Saad will remain on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Early Tuesday the team announced, forward Jeremy Morin was reassigned to Rockford of the American Hockey League for a 'conditioning' stint. The team also assigned forward Joakim Nordstrom the Rockford. Nordstrom has recorded two assists in 10 games with Chicago this season. The 22-year-old has eight points (5G, 3A) in 14 games with Rockford this season.

Even without Sharp's services, Chicago have won six straight for the first time since Nov. 21-30 of last year and picked up their ninth win in 10 games with Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators to start their four-game road trip.

Hossa scored twice and Saad had a goal and an assist, while Scott Darling made 32 saves in his fourth career start. Darling will start again and is 3-1-0 on the season with a 1.73 goals against average and .943 save percentage.

Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson were not seen on the ice during the morning skate, but will start as they took a maintenance day. Fellow defenseman Klas Dahlbeck will make his second NHL start on the blue line. The left-handed shot made 18 shifts and had 12:24 of ice time in his debut against Nashville.

The win and St. Louis' 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday, the Blackhawks sit second in the Central Division, one point ahead of Nashville and one back of the Blues.

Opponent Breakdown: New Jersey Devils

New Jersey return home to the Prudential Center following a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jaromir Jagr passed Marcel Dionne for sole possession of fifth place on the NHL's all-time points list with 1,772 points with a goal and an assist. He is just the 15th player to skate 1,500 games and the goal was his 710th of his great career.

Adam Henrique scored the game-winner and Cory Schneider stopped 39 of 40 shots for the Devils, who had dropped six of their last seven. Scott Gomez also found his way on the score sheet with two assists.

The Devils roster has seen better days with forwards Mike Cammalleri (lower-body), Patrik Elias (groin) and Travis Zajac (lower-body/flu), as well as defenseman Adam Larsson (flu), not making the trip to Carolina.

Schneider has started in 27 of New Jersey's 28 games this season. He is 2-2-1 with a 3.44 GAA and .901 save percentage in six appearances, including five starts against Chicago. Backup Scott Clemmensen has faced the Blackhawks only once and chased for six goals on Dec. 8, 2013 in a loss with Florida.

Injury Report

Chicago: Corey Crawford (foot) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee)

New Jersey: Mike Cammalleri (lower-body), Adam Larsson (flu), Travis Zajac (lower-body), Bryce Salvador (lower-body) and Ryane Clowe (concussion).

Game Information

When: 6 p.m. CT

Where: Prudential Center

TV: CSN Chicago

Radio: WGN-720

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