Blackhawks activate Corey Crawford from injured reserve

The Chicago starting goaltender has been sidelined since Dec. 3.

The Chicago Blackhawks have activated goaltender Corey Crawford from injured reserve and re-assigned Lars Johansson to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, the team announced late Tuesday night.

Crawford, who has been out since undergoing an appendectomy Dec. 3, began skating last week in Chicago while the team was on a three-game road trip. He’s increased his workload since then and skated in Tuesday’s morning skate. The 31-year-old netminder is targeting Friday for his return when the Hawks host Central Division foe Colorado.

Scott Darling kept the Hawks at the top of the division during Crawford’s nine-game absence. Darling went 6-2-1 with a .938 save percentage. He allowed two goals or fewer in six of those games, including a 22-save shutout against Arizona on Dec. 6.

Crawford was 12-6-2 with a 2.27 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and two shutouts before his surgery. He ranks second in the league with a 95.46 save percentage in 5-on-5 play.