Marian Hossa got through last weekend's back-to-back games just fine, but the Blackhawks' winger still considers his season to be a work in progress.
"I'm still working on my timing," said Hossa, who missed all of training camp with a back issue. "It's not ideal where I want it to be, but I'm still working after practices taking shots and those type of things.
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"I'm getting lots of chances, but my timing is a little off. I still need to work on it."
Hossa feels he cleared a big test last weekend when he was able to play Friday and Saturday against the Islanders and Sabres.
"I'm very pleased how it has responded," Hossa said.
Hossa was even a little feisty against Buffalo.
"I'm still trying to get into it," Hossa said. "It's only five games into the season. Sometimes you get fired up a little more and something happens. You just try to find your way how to get into games."
600 and counting:
Now that Patrick Sharp has played in 600 games, he is looking forward to the next milestone.
"It's pretty special when you sit back and think about it," Sharp said. "But I'd like to think I have a lot more games in me. To see a milestone like that, it's taken a long time to get to 600. Hopefully the next 400 or 500 come a little faster."
Marcus Kruger centered for Sharp in his 600th game.
"He's a good player and complements me and Hoss (Marian Hossa)," said Sharp. "He goes to the puck areas hard and is always at the net. Then when he gets the puck he's poised and makes good plays. He doesn't turn it over very often."
Corey Crawford gets the start Tuesday against Carolina. ... It looked from practice on Monday as if Brandon Pirri would not play against the Hurricanes. ... Michal Handzus was back at center on the second line with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa with Marcus Kruger on the fourth line in the middle.