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Morning Skate Update: Mrazek starts; Stalock activated from IR

A busy day off the ice with a game to be played on it.

NHL: FEB 25 Blackhawks at Sharks Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Some news and notes ahead of the game on Monday night between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks.

There were no official lines rushes at the morning skate in Anaheim for the Blackhawks, but there will definitely be some changes with the trade of Jack Johnson to the Colorado Avalanche as well as Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philipp Kurashev was also absent at practice and question for Monday night thanks to a non-COVID illness.

Defensemen Andreas Englund —acquired from the Avalanche in the J. Johnson trade — joined the Blackhawks on their road trip. Forward Joey Anderson — acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the McCabe/Lafferty trade — could possibly play as he’s currently traveling to join the Blackhawks in Anaheim.

The only confirmation, in terms of the lineup provided at Monday’s morning skate, was that Petr Mrazek will start in net.

As for the injury update, it’s also unknown if defenseman Jarred Tinordi (knee) and/or forward Jujhar Khaira (lower back) will play, though they have been practicing with the team since last Friday. Additionally, goalie Alex Stalock was activated off injured reserve and will be backing up Mrazek.

After practice, Blackhawks general manager declined to discuss the Patrick Kane trade rumors:

But Scott Powers and Arthur Staple of The Athletic provided more insight that it really is New York Rangers or bust for Kane:

As for the Ducks, they are still without defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed), center Adam Henrique (lower-body), and goalie Anthony Stolarz (lower-body) for Monday night’s game.

This means Anaheim’s lines will look almost exactly the same as when they faced the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday with one minor swap: forward Brett Leason will swap into the lineup in place of Connor Carrick on the fourth line. Defensive pairs remain the same.

In net, Lukáš Dostál will start for the Ducks, giving John Gibson — who faced nearly 290 shots over his last six starts — a much deserved break. Dostál, 22, has a .895 save-percentage and 4.23 goals against average in just nine NHL games this season.