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Corey Crawford returns to ice for first time since injury

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A bit of good news from Chicago on Saturday.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

While the Chicago Blackhawks prepare for a Saturday night tilt against the Calgary Flames, they got some good news from back home in the Windy City.

Following Saturday’s morning skate, coach Joel Quenneville told the media that goaltender Corey Crawford returned to the ice in Chicago, skating for the first time since his injury.

Crawford has been out since Dec. 23 with an upper-body injury, the circumstances of which have remained mysterious. Before his injury, Crawford was playing like one of the best goalies in the NHL, posting a 16-9-2 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

This whole injury saga has been a never-ending source of confusion. A few days after Crawford was paced on injured reserve, Quenneville said his goalie would be out for an “indefinite” time. Three weeks later, a comment from Jonathan Toews had the rumor mills working overtime. The next day, Chicago Sun-Times’ reporter Mark Lazerus reported that Crawford was experiencing “vertigo-like symptoms,” before team adviser Scotty Bowman went on a radio station and said it was post-concussion syndrome.

The roller-coaster ride appears closer to its finish, though, and Quenneville added that Crawford is expected to skate again on Sunday. Chicago has been 7-7-2 in Crawford’s absence, falling out of a playoff spot with about 30 games remaining in the season. Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass have been serviceable in Crawford’s absence, but getting Chicago’s best player back onto the ice for a hopeful run at a playoff spot would be a significant boost to that mission.