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Posted: Jan 05, 2012 8:54:11 am
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Tweet CHICAGO -- As if defending a Stanley Cup championship without a large chunk of the title-winning roster returning wasnt hard enough, the Chicago Blackhawks also are facing a big hurdle with a number of injuries so far. Authentic Cedric Benson Jersey .  First it was veteran puck-moving defenseman Brian Campbell, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the preseason and has missed four weeks. Now, with Campbell getting close to returning, its star forward Marian Hossa whos out.  Hossa, who has 7 goals and 11 points, was injured in Chicagos win Wednesday against the Kings. The Hawks are calling it an upper-body injury which will keep Hossa out for at least a couple of weeks -- a huge blow considering his hot start.  Fridays game Edmonton will be the Hawks first without Hossa this season, but not the first time theyve played without him -- he missed the first seven weeks of last season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.  Marian Hossa (Getty Images) Marian Hossa (Getty Images) "Youve got to learn to play with injuries and weve done that with (Campbell) already this year," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said following Fridays morning skate. "Well make adjustments. Its not the end of the world. Hes been playing great for us, but again, hes just one guy and well try our best to make up for that void."  Chicago also ran through practice drills Friday without third-line center Dave Bolland, who missed his second straight practice for whats being termed "maintenance" by Hawks coach Joel Quenneville.  Bolland is expected to play against the Oilers, though, as is rookie Ben Smith, who was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League to take Hossas spot. Smith likely will play right wing on a line with Bolland and former Oiler Fernando Pisani, while the Hawks top line most will likely feature Patrick Sharp on the left side with Toews at center and Viktor Stalberg on the right.  Sharp still is leading the League with 9 goals and leads the Hawks with 12 points. He may have to stay that hot in order for Chicago to ride out Hossas absence. If not, it will have to mean other scorers who are off to slower starts -- such as Toews and Patrick Kane -- will need to kick it into high gear.  "(Hossa) is a big part of our hockey team and everybody will need to step up their game," said Tomas Kopecky, who has been on the same line as Hossa all season. "Theres going to be those (extra) minutes to grab for guys, and for myself included. We just have to earn them."  Hossa and Kopecky (1 goal, 8 points) were working great together on the same line, but now will have to start all over again once Hossa gets back on the ice.  "We had a good chemistry together, but hes probably going to be (out) a couple weeks," Kopecky said. "When he comes back hes going to be energized and ready to go, so well see (what happens)."  NHL INSIDER Around the West: Sharks reunite Big Three Dan Rosen - NHL.com Staff Writer San Jose coach Todd McLellan doesnt want all his offense coming from one line, but reuniting Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau paid off in a big way Wednesday. READ MORE ›  Halls struggles nothing new for hyped prospect Predators fast start a full team effort Hudler still looking to click in return to Wings  MORE NHL INSIDER STORIES › Kopecky said Hossa is taking the setback in stride.  "Hes doing well and keeping his spirits high," Kopecky said. "Hes a real professional. Hes been through these injuries before. Its not like its his first year in the League."  Kopecky said Hossa told him the injury occurred when he tried to poke check a Kings player, fell and had someone fall on top of him. It was unfortunate, but just another big challenge for the reigning League champions to overcome.  "In his absence, weve got to make sure that we play tight and check," Quenneville said. "Were not looking for somebody to fill that scoring gap that could look like is needed. (Depending) on how resilient we are and (having) that defensive mind-set, we should get some offense out of it across the board."  Frazz back in town -- Edmontons Colin Fraser is the first former Blackhawks player from the Stanley Cup championship team to return to the United Center in an opposing uniform.  It was a bit surreal for him to head into the visitors locker room and probably will be just as odd taking the ice as a visiting player. Fraser became a dad recently and was happy to chat about it with his former teammates. It was a little like old times when Fraser noticed Sharp listening in to his media session outside the Oilers locker room.  Fraser was asked if hed be willing to drop the gloves with one of his former teammates if necessary, and after giving a semi-serious response, he smiled at Sharp in the back.  "Were coming after (No.) 10 (Sharp) … there you go," Fraser said, drawing laughs from Sharp and anyone else within earshot. "Hes been hot, so weve got to shut him down."  Fraser, who was dealt to the Oilers this summer, has played in all eight games as Edmontons fourth-line center. He has just 1 point and a minus-1 rating, but leads the team with 26 penalty minutes.  "Thatll be a little different, seeing a lot of the guys I played with for a long time and going up against them. But once the puck drops the game will be on and it will be a lot of fun. Im looking forward to it." -- Blackhawks forward Fernando Pisani on facing the Oilers "Im excited (to be back)," he said. "I had two good years here and loved the city, the fans, the guys -- everything was great. That parade was something youll never forget. It was unbelievable to be a part of. I love this city. I tell everybody this is the best city."  Pisani welcomes Oilers to Chicago -- Fraser wasnt the only player re-acquainting himself with his former teammates Friday. Hawks forward Fernando Pisani, who played seven seasons in Edmonton and is from that city, chatted with several former teammates after both teams practices had concluded.  Pisani said its going to be odd playing against his former team.  "Thatll be a little different, seeing a lot of the guys I played with for a long time and going up against them," he said. "But once the puck drops the game will be on and it will be a lot of fun. Im looking forward to it."  Smith trades groceries for call-up -- Ben Smith was in the supermarket Thursday when the Hawks informed him he was being recalled from Rockford to take Hossas spot on the roster.  "I was in the grocery store getting some groceries for the weekend," said Smith, 22, who had a goal and 3 assists in eight games for the IceHogs. "I put them all back and hopped in the car. It was really exciting." Heath Miller Youth Jersey . -- One point and two uncalled handballs added up to a sense of frustration for Toronto FC coach Preki after Torontos 0-0 tie with Chicago on Wednesday night. Von Miller Youth Jersey . Haren is 0-4 with a 4.58 earned run average in his last six starts and hasnt tasted victory since consecutive wins on June 7 and 12. He previously toed the rubber in last Thursdays 12-1 debacle at San Diego in which he allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings. Willis McGahee Jersey . 6. FIRST STAR – JOHAN FRANZEN, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS Franzen led all NHL goal-scorers and needed just one game to do it, scoring five times in a 7-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 2. Franzen became the first NHL player to score five goals in a game since Marian Gaborik, then with the Minnesota Wild, did it against the New York Rangers on Dec. Authentic Troy Polamalu Jersey . Loik Poudrier opened the scoring at 13:42 for his fourth of the year. Benjamin Casavant made it 2-0 midway through the second before Plante scored his first of the season at 13:28. Dave Labrecque got a power-play marker three minutes later to give Shawinigan a 4-0 lead going into the second intermission. Kenny Phillips Jersey . -- Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis rarely talks to the media anymore.The Mississauga St. Michaels Majors and Owen Sound Attack have swept their way into the Ontario Hockey League conference finals. The Majors, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, advanced with a 4-3 overtime win over the Sudbury Wolves on Wednesday. That completed Mississaugas four game sweep of No. 7 Sudbury, which was coming off a surprising first-round sweep of Ottawa. The Majors, who finished first overall in the regular season with 108 points, will face the winner of the series between the Niagara IceDogs and the Oshawa Generals in the conference final. The IceDogs lead that series 3-1 after a 6-1 thrashing of the Generals in Oshawa on Wednesday. The Attack, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, had an easier time finishing their sweep, cruising past No. 6 Plymouth 4-1. They will face the winner of the series between the Saginaw Spirit and the defending champion Windsor Spitfires in the West final. Saginaw currently leads that series 2-1. Majors 4 Wolves 3 (OT) At Sudbury, Derek Schoenmakers scored in overtime to lead the Majors to the Eastern Conference final. The Wolves took a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals from captain Marcus Foligno and Eric ODell. Sudbury increased its lead to 3-0 on a goal by defenceman Frank Corrado in the third. Mississauga quickly worked their way back into the game as Rob Flick, Casey Cizikas, and Devante Smith-Pellyy all scored in the last 10 minutes of the third to tie it. Authentic Randall Cobb Jersey. JP Anderson made 20 saves for Mississauga. Alain Valiquette stopped 24 shots for Sudbury. --- Attack 4 Whalers 1 At Plymouth, Mich., Scott Stajcer made 36 saves as Owen Sound comfortably advanced to the Western Conference final. Brendan Childerley, Cameron Brace, Roman Berdnikov and Jesse Blacker scored for Owen Sound. James Livingston replied for Plymouth with 65 seconds remaining. Matt Mahalak stopped 33 shots for the Whalers. --- IceDogs 6 Generals 1 At Oshawa, Ont., Jason Wilson scored two early goals as Niagara hammered the Generals. Wilson, a New York Rangers draft pick, scored his goals just 4:24 apart in the first period to stake Niagara to a 2-0 lead, and the IceDogs took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal. Niagara can wrap the series up at home in St. Catharines, Ont., on Friday. Dougie Hamilton also scored a pair for Niagara, both on power plays. Brother Freddy Hamilton added four assists on the night. Darren Archibald and Ryan Strome scored third-period goals for Niagara to put the game away. Mark Visentin made 30 saves for Niagara and was particularly solid in a 16-shot second period. Christian Thomas spoiled Visentins shutout bid in the third period, while Peter Di Salvo made 30 saves for the Generals.      ' ' '

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