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By Ben Meyer-Abbott
bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
Twitter:
@BMACST

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Game 1 of the Blackhakws' first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes wasn't a fun night for anyone on the team, especially defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Sean O'Donnell.

DALLAS -- Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and winger Patrick Sharp both sat out practice prior to the Blackhawks leaving for Dallas for their game Friday against the Stars. But both of them will be in the lineup.

Center Jonathan Toews will miss his 12th game in a row with concussion symptoms when the Blackhawks face the Stars in Dallas on Friday.

Toews did not partake in practice Thursday at Johnny's IceHouse after briefly skating a day earlier. He will not travel with the team to Dallas. He last played on Feb. 19 against the St. Louis Blues.

"Whether it's a setback or it's part of the process, that's what we're dealing with," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think if we saw him out there, it would be fine. But that's all part of it.

DETROIT -- It was unlikely in the first place. But center Jonathan Toews wasn't officially ruled out for the Blackhawks' three-game road trip -- or what's left of it -- until Saturday.

OTTAWA, Ontario -- As the Blackhawks prepared for the Ottawa Senators Friday morning at Scotiabank Place, center Jonathan Toews and Steve Montador took steps closer to returning to the lineup miles away in Chicago.

A day after skating on his own, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson joined his Blackhawks teammates on the ice for their morning skate Wednesday before they hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at the United Center.

But his status for games is still up in the air. He won't play against the Maple Leafs and his availability for the Hawks' three-game road trip starting Friday in Ottawa is uncertain.

LOS ANGELES -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had some encouraging news to deliver about his injured players -- notably center Jonathan Toews -- Saturday at Staples Center.

Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador will not travel with the team to Los Angeles or Anaheim for the Blackhawks' games against the Kings and Ducks this weekend. The team departed Friday.

Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was ready to meet the media Tuesday after the Blackhawks' morning skate. But he wasn't about to go into detail about why he hasn't been in the lineup.

Hjalmarsson (concussion-like symptoms) skated with the Hawks for the first time since leaving the second leg of their nine-game road trip with an illness that turned out to be something worse. Hjalmarsson didn't say whether he had to be cleared to play.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Injured Blackhawks defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador went back to Chicago, while rookie Dylan Olsen joined the team in San Jose for their game Friday against the Sharks.

In other words, the Hawks' blue line will look very different.

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About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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