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Blackhawks vs. Bruins game preview 2016: Marian Hossa returns, Andrew Shaw out

Chicago will avoid a wild-card spot with at least a point against Boston.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Darling will make his ninth consecutive start in net, and Marian Hossa will return to the line when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins for a Sunday matinee at the United Center.

Andrew Shaw, who suffered an upper-body injury in Chicago's overtime win over Winnipeg on Friday, will not play. Coach Joel Quenneville said Shaw is day-to-day, and he believes the injury is not serious.

The Hawks learned prior to Friday's game that they would play the rest of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs without its top defenseman Duncan Keith, who was suspended six games for high-sticking Minnesota Wild's Charlie Coyle last Tuesday. While Chicago (45-26-7) knows they'll be without Keith, starting goaltender Corey Crawford is in question. Crawford returned to practicing drills Saturday and Quenneville says he's hopeful Crawford will return before the playoffs begin.

Chicago will clinch a top-three finish in the Central Division, and thus avoid a wild-card spot with at least a point against Boston. A victory for the Hawks would give Quennneville his 800th career NHL coaching win.

Patrick Kane scored his 40th goal of the season and added an assist against Winnipeg to improve his league-leading point total to 96. Artemi Panarin busted out of a slump with two goals and two assists. He leads all rookies with 27 goals and 41 assists.

The Hawks return to Chicago fresh off a four-game road trip where they went 3-1, including sweeping a back-to-back. Chicago has struggled lately at home, dropping its last four at the UC.

Projected lines:



Opponent Breakdown

Bruins | Record: 41-29-8 | 90 points | 3rd in Atlantic Division

Boston is coming off a key victory over the Blues in St. Louis. David Krejci scored two goals and had two assists to lead the Bruins.

The Bruins are in a tight race for the Atlantic Division's third seed against the Detroit Red Wings. If Boston claims the spot it could be the end to Detroit's 24 consecutive playoff appearance streak.

Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand and Ryan Spooner each scored in the last meeting, a 4-2 win over Chicago on March 3 in Boston. The Bruins have won two straight in the series.

Projected lines:




Blackhawks: Corey Crawford, Andrew Shaw

Bruins: Chris Kelly, John-Michael Liles, Ryan Spooner, Dennis Seidenberg, Brett Connolly

How to watch

When: 11:30 a.m. CT

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.