The Chicago Blackhawks will be getting back two key pieces in the lineup on Saturday night as they welcome defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford back into the mix.
Keith, who missed Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild, was absent with an illness, and while there were rumors that he was sick with mumps, that apparently isn’t the case as he practiced with the team on Friday.
As for Crawford, he has been out of the lineup for the Hawks’ last eight games as he dealt with a lower body injury suffered at a concert in November. He has been practicing with the team in recent days, but it was unclear whether or not he would be starting Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, or if he would back up Antti Raanta.
Now, it appears that Crawford will make the start. He has a 12-5-1 record so far this season with a 1.87 GAA and a .929 save percentage, and he is currently the frontrunner to be the first goaltender selected to the NHL All-Star Game, which will be played in the very building where he’ll make his return to the ice Saturday.