The Blackhawks are encouraging what defenseman Brian Campbell did to set up Tomas Kopecky’s first goal Friday against the Red Wings.
Campbell skated into the offensive zone during a delayed penalty and held on to the puck, freezing the Wings before setting up Kopecky all alone in front goalie Jimmy Howard.
“The coaches want me to do that more,’’ Campbell said of controlling the puck. ‘‘I think I’ve been playing well, but there’s always another level.”
Campbell led the team in ice time (26:38) and had an assist, four blocks and a plus-2 rating in the 4-1 victory. He has been steady since returning from a sprained right knee Nov. 1, leading the Hawks with a plus-12.
“I have to contribute like that every night,” Campbell said. “In the offensive zone, I’m trying to move around quite a bit. They want me to keep doing it everywhere. We play better when our defense is moving.”
Coach Joel Quenneville ruled out Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg for the game tonight against the Kings.
Kane left practice Saturday early after apparently tweaking his ankle injury. Stalberg hasn’t skated since getting boarded by the Avalanche’s Ryan O’Byrne on Wednesday. He might resume skating today.
Hossa, though, sounded encouraged by his progress from a lower-body injury. He might return Wednesday against the Predators.
“If it’s still not at the comfort level of where I can perform, I’d rather take an extra few days and make sure I’m ready for the next game,” Hossa said.
On the wire
Defenseman Jassen Cullimore cleared waivers Saturday. Quenne-ville said the holiday trade freeze, which went into effect today, “had a lot to do with [the move].” Cullimore will play tonight.