There were optimistic reports on Friday that Patrick Kane might be ready to play tonight, and maybe Marian Hossa would even be back.
No such luck -- not only are those two not available for tonight's game against the Kings, but Viktor Stalberg will also be out with an injury. So the shorthanded Hawks -- who are actually 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, surprisingly enough -- will try to defeat the Kings for the third time this season. They won 3-1 on Oct. 27 at the United Center and 2-1 on Nov. 27 in Los Angeles; why this game is not being played on Dec. 27 instead of Dec. 19 is something known only to the schedule-makers.
Corey Crawford, who made 29 saves in a fine performance against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, will get the start again and is, for all intents and purposes, the No. 1 goaltender for the Blackhawks now. How that will affect the psyche of Marty Turco is not known, but this is very similar to last season where the failures of Cristobal Huet led to Antti Niemi becoming the starting goalie, and Niemi helped lead the Hawks to the Stanley Cup.
Tonight's game begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only). Outside of the Chicago area you can see the game on the NHL Network.