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Crosby Out Indefinitely, Blackhawks Take on the Predators

After undergoing surgery for his broken jaw on Sunday, Pittsburgh Penguins (28-8-0) Sidney Crosby will be out indefinitely. This comes after Crosby had been hit in the face by a puck in Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders. The Penguins did still win, 2-0.

Penguins Sidney Crosby

Penguins Sidney Crosby

Penguins general manager Ray Shero also said after the player’s Sunday surgery that neither Crosby’s jaw has been wired shut nor did he suffer a concussion. This is good news and later this week, the team has said it will provide a time frame for his recovery.

Evgeni Malkin is expected to step up in Crosby’s absence. This may not be a bad thing as Malkin has played 87 games, scoring 54 goals and 122 points when Crosby has been absent from the lineup, according to SI.com.

Also joining Crosby on the injury list is Paul Martin. He just underwent hand surgery and will be out for 4 to 6 weeks.

With Saturday’s win, the Penguins have now won 15 straight games and will look to tie the league record–set by them in the 1992-1993 season–this week for consecutive wins. They are two wins shy and they will kick off play this week by hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

The Penguins are 13 to 2 to win the Stanley Cup this year.

On Monday, there’s nine games and one includes the Chicago Blackhawks (26-5-3) hosting the Nashville Predators (14-14-7).

Chicago vs. Nashville

The Western-conference leading Blackhawks have struggled lately but had a decisive 7-1 win on Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings (17-13-5). Patrick Sharp and Marina Hossa were both absent from the game but nine players got points for the team.

Hossa has been out for five consecutive games while Sharp’s absence has been longer: 10 straight games. For Monday’s game against Nashville, Blackhawks coach Joe Quenneville hasn’t ruled out either player after both took part in a full practice on Saturday.

Lucky for the Blackhawks, some rookies have stepped up. Jeremy Morin went to the ice for the first time in a Blackhawks jersey on Sunday and got a score his inaugural shift and on his first shot on goal.

Blackhawks Bradon Saad

Blackhawks Bradon Saad

Fellow newbie Brandon Saad has been around longer and has stepped in Hossa and Sharpe’s absences. With his 16 of 19 points this season, they have taken place in the last 15 games. On Sunday he had two goals with an assist.

Saad said of the team’s recent play via The Chicago Tribune, “The past two (losses) weren’t where we wanted to be and we knew we had to be better,” Saad said. “Guys individually took a look in the mirror and we came out strong.”

From Sunday’s win, the Blackhawks are hoping this represented a turning point for the team as they had previously lost 3 of 4 games.

As for the Predators, they’ll looking to snap a four-game road losing streak. The currently sit in a tie for 10th in the West with the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers. There is still a glimmer of hope for the playoffs as the Predators sit two points behind the Blue Jackets for the conference’s last playoff spot.

Can they have a winning month of April? It’s been done before. From the last three years, they’ve been 8-2-1 in the final month but things will have to change for the Predators as their 25.5 shots per game places them at the bottom of the league.

Martin Erat leads the team with his four goals and 17 assists. For Monday’s game, center Mike Fisher is questionable. He missed Saturday’s game from an upper-body injury. This is unfortunate as Fisher had a point in eight consecutive games before Saturday.

In the team’s previous match up on Feb. 10, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a score in a 3-0 Chicago win. It looks like another one is coming the Blackhawks’ way on Monday (-172, 5 u/o).


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