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Patrick Kane returns to center

Updated: January 31, 2012 8:27AM



Maybe playing center is a better option for Patrick Kane these days. It could get the skilled forward going again for the Blackhawks.

After 12 games at his natural right-wing position, Kane will be moved back to the middle Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. He played the first 25 games at center and had seven goals and 24 points. On the wing, he only has scored twice.

In search of a spark, coach Joel Quenneville moved Kane to center late in the Hawks’ recent losses against the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins. He’ll center Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg.

“The last few times I went to center, it seems like we’ve had a little more balance,” Kane said. “We’ve had some good periods and some pressure in their end and some chances. I guess maybe they wanted to start out that way and see where it goes.

“I’m excited. It’s always fun to play with new linemates and new combinations. Sharp has been playing great and so has Stalberg. So I’m playing with two pretty confident guys right now.”

Hayes gets call

Power forward Jimmy Hayes is the latest prospect to get called up from Rockford. Hayes, who’s 6-6, 221 pounds, replaced Brandon Pirri on the Hawks’ roster Thursday. Hayes, 22, will make his NHL debut Friday.

“I’m just happy to get a chance and see what I can do with it,” said Hayes, who had 18 points in 28 games for the IceHogs. “It’s great to get thrown right into the fire. It’s a big game, Detroit and Chicago.”

In and out

Winger Daniel Carcillo (suspected concussion) will play against the Red Wings after sitting out six games in a row. He should be on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Rookie center Marcus Kruger (concussion) hasn’t resumed skating after getting reinjured Monday. There’s no timetable for his return.



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