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Morning Bag Skate: 2-16-19

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Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

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NHL: Preseason-Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks host the Blue Jackets on Saturday night at the United Center.

The IceHogs welcome the Iowa Wild on Saturday to BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

Elsewhere in Chicago sports, the Steel extended their home-game winning streak to 14 USHL games with a 6-1 beatdown of Muskegon, who did not have Blackhawks prospect Mikael Hakkarainen travel with the team this weekend. The Steel host Jack Hughes and the U.S. National Team Development Program on Saturday.

RedStars midfielder Danielle Colaprico and Sydney FC won Australia’s W League final 4-2 against Perth and Chicago teammate Sam Kerr. The Fire play a preseason friendly against rival Columbus on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.

BLACKHAWKS

Crawford: ‘I’m ready to play right now’ (SCH)

Lazerus: However this unlikely Blackhawks playoff push ends, the lasting effect will be significant (The Athletic)

Highmore returns to IceHogs’ practice 3 months after shoulder surgery (SCH)

Kahun on pace to make NHL history with penalty-free season (SCH)

CENTRAL DIVISION

NHL is Avs prospect Shane Bowers’ goal. He must now figure out the best way to get there (The Athletic)

RECAP: Schneider losing streak ends when Devils rally to defeat Wild (NHL)

Preds have new top dog in puppy ‘Smash’ (The Tennessean)

NHL

19 Days of Doan, Day 10: Fisticuffs with his goalie (The Athletic)

Is the gap between Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko for No. 1 draft spot really that close? (ESPN)

As Hockey Day in America arrives, it’s time to consider Columbus as a future host city (The Athletic)

‘Let’s be honest: We’re a hell of a lot more fun!’ Welcome to the Blue Jackets’ first mothers trip (The Athletic)

RECAP: Rangers score twice in 8 seconds in win against Sabres (NHL)

RECAP: McElhinney makes 40 saves for Hurricanes, stays perfect against Oilers (NHL)

RECAP: Halak, Bruins blank Ducks for 4th straight win (NHL)

Oilers trade Talbot to Flyers for Stolarz (Copper N Blue)

Islanders will play 1st-round playoff games at Coliseum if they qualify (Lighthouse Hockey)

Watch: Hurricanes channel Bautista’s bat flip in epic postgame celebration (Sportsnet)

Penguins activate Schultz from IR (Pensburgh)

HOCKEY WORLD

USHL: Steel extend home win streak to 14, drop Lumberjacks 6-1 (Steel)

OHL: IceDogs fined $250K, stripped of draft picks for recruiting violations (Sportsnet)