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Blackhawks recall goaltender Lars Johansson, send Nick Schmaltz down to AHL Rockford

The Swedish goaltender will serve as Scott Darling’s backup while Corey Crawford recovers from an appendectomy.

NHL: Preseason-Chicago Blackhawks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks recalled goaltender Lars Johansson from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

In a corresponding move, the Hawks sent down rookie forward Nick Schmaltz to Rockford. He’s the first rookie this season the Hawks have reassigned to the AHL.

Johansson will serve as the Hawks backup goaltender for Scott Darling, who is pushed into the starting role as Corey Crawford recovers from an appendectomy procedure he had Saturday in Philadelphia. Crawford’s timetable for return is 2-3 weeks.

Johansson is 6-7-1 with a .911 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average in 16 games for Rockford in his first season of North American hockey. The Swedish netminder signed a one-year, two-way contract with Chicago last May. The 29-year-old was named the Swedish Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year after posting a 27-6 record with seven shutouts and a league-best 1.74 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 37 games to lead Frölunda HC to a league title. He also won the Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition, this past season with Frölunda HC.

In three seasons with Frölunda HC, the 6-foot, 198-pound netminder was 56-27 with 11 shutouts. He has never lost more than 11 games in a season.

Schmaltz has a goal and three assists in 26 games with the Blackhawks this season. He is one of several forwards who received a top-line opportunity this season.