Hossa to miss four exhibitions; Toews will play Friday
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter September 19, 2013 10:44PM
Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks
Updated: September 22, 2013 2:27AM
Marian Hossa came into camp feeling healthy after he was plagued with back problems during the Stanley Cup Final. But after he aggravated an upper-body injury, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa would miss at least four exhibitions, starting with Thursday night’s game against the Penguins.
Hossa dealt with a nerve issue in his back during the Final (he missed Game 3) but looked spry during three days of scrimmaging at Notre Dame last week.
He had two goals and an assist in those scrimmages but hasn’t seen the ice since.
“He was skating pretty good,” Quenneville said. “We liked the way he was playing and moving. But this is where we’re at.”
Quenneville said he was comfortable that the injury wasn’t serious and that Hossa could return for the preseason finale next Saturday.
“We feel he’ll be back and he’ll be fine [for the Oct. 1 opener],” he said.
Detroit’s Teemu Pulkkinen was suspended for four preseason games for boarding defenseman Mike Kostka on Tuesday. Kostka was in street clothes on Thursday, but Quenneville said he’s OK and deemed him day-to-day.
Jonathan Toews (lower-body injury), who hasn’t played in any scrimmages or games this camp, will make his preseason debut Friday night at Washington.
◆ Brandon Pirri (lower body) left the morning skate early. Quenneville said his health will be a factor in whether he makes the team out of camp, but added, “He’s still in the mix.”
Hawks fall in shootout
Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith (short-handed) scored for the second time in as many games, and Brandon Bollig tied it with 6:53 left as the Hawks lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Penguins.
Sidney Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead in the second period in his first appearance at the United Center since Jan. 13, 2006, his rookie year. Nikolai Khabibulin made 27 saves. The Hawks were 0-for-6 on the power play for the second straight game.