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Marian Hossa out for Blackhawks; Viktor Stalberg returns

Updated: January 23, 2012 3:39AM

Marian Hossa was a scratch Saturday against the Boston Bruins because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. He had been a game-time decision.

Hossa didn’t participate in the morning skate after not practicing with the Hawks on Friday. Coach Joel Quenneville described the injury as “very short-term.”

“He’s not that bad,” Quenneville said. “We’re hoping he practices Monday and can play Tuesday.”

Hossa missed 42 games the previous two seasons because of shoulder surgery and a lower-body injury last November.

Viktor Stalberg (left knee)played for the first time since he was injured Sept. 28 in a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings. He played on the second line with Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo. Stalberg had talked at the start of camp about wanting to see time in the Hawks’ top six.

“That’s the goal,” he said. “We’ve got a deep roster, and there are opportunities to play with those top guys this year. Hopefully I get a chance to do it, and obviously you’ve got to produce when you’re up there. Right now I’m just looking to get back in game shape and get those first couple of games out of the way.”

Quenneville said Ben Smith (concussion) is close to returning.

When Smith returns, the Hawks will have to assign a player to Rockford.

“We’ll know a little more over the next couple of days whether we have to make a decision early next week,” Quenneville said. “But that could happen.”

Morin back for Rockford

 Hawks prospect Jeremy Morin played Friday in his first game since suffering a concussion Jan. 15. Morin scored in a 4-3 loss for the Rockford IceHogs. 

“It was nice to see him playing,” Quenneville said. 

Morin, who was acquired in the deal that sent Dustin Byfuglien to the then Atlanta Thrashers, practiced in September with the Hawks during training camp but wasn’t cleared for contact. 

Hitchin’ a ride

 Quenneville and Bruins coach Claude Julien had a good time this weekend telling reporters about how Julien hitched a ride with Quenneville back to his hotel to receive a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama for Boston’s Stanley Cup victory. 

The longtime friends were at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., for this summer’s NHL draft, and Julien didn’t have a ride. 

“It was nice of him to offer me a lift because I was trying to get back to the hotel because President Obama was going to call me, and I was running late,” Julien said. 

Julien made it back in time to speak with Obama. 

“I didn’t hear how the call went, but he was excited about it,” Quenneville said. “I was telling him about my call the year before.”

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