Blackhawks' Kruger to miss four months after wrist surgery

 
 
Updated 12/18/2015 2:02 PM
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  • Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, left, was injured in Thursday's win against Edmonton and underwent surgery on his wrist on Friday. The Blackhawks called up Phillip Danault from Rockford to fill the roster spot.

    Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, left, was injured in Thursday's win against Edmonton and underwent surgery on his wrist on Friday. The Blackhawks called up Phillip Danault from Rockford to fill the roster spot. Associated Press/file

The Blackhawks are going to be without Markus Kruger for four months, the team announced Friday.

Kruger underwent wrist surgery Friday.

Kruger was hurt when he crashed into the boards during the second period in Thursday's game. A hunched-over Kruger slowly skated off the ice and he was flexing his hand on the bench before being taken to the locker room.

Kruger does not have a goal this season but is one of the key players on the penalty kill unit, where he averages 2½ minutes a game.

The team recalled Phillip Danault from Rockford on Friday to take Kruger's place.

Danault underwent hip surgery in mid-August. He has played in the IceHogs' last six games, registering a goal and an assist. The 22-year-old Quebec native was a first-round pick by the Hawks in 2011 and has spent the last two seasons in Rockford, registering 19 goals and 45 assists.

He appeared in two games with the Hawks last season.

More like it:

For much of this season -- and especially the last three weeks -- the Blackhawks have struggled to score goals at even strength. In the 10 games before Thursday's win over Edmonton, the Hawks managed just 10 goals during 5-on-5 play -- and 1 of those came with 10 seconds left in a 4-0 victory over Vancouver on Sunday.

So it was a welcome sight to many Hawks when all 4 of their goals against Edmonton came without the benefit of a power play or an empty net.

"That was nice. It was a good feeling," Duncan Keith said. "Guys, when they work hard, were able to create chances 5-on-5 and able to finish. That's a good feeling and another thing we can build off."

Crawsome:

With three shutouts in four games and a .978 save percentage in his last six, no goaltender in the NHL is as hot as Corey Crawford. He dazzled again Thursday, stopping all 33 shots by the Oilers.

"I feel good right now. I'm really focused," Crawford said. "I'm seeing the puck well throughout the whole game and getting a lot of help too from everyone, especially tonight."

Among goalies with at least 12 appearances, Crawford ranks eighth in the league in save percentage (. 928) and goals-allowed average (2.14). His career bests in those categories are .926 and 1.94 during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

Slapshots:

Patrick Kane continues to lead the NHL in scoring with 47 points. He is being chased by Dallas' Tyler Seguin (42 points) and Jamie Benn (41). … Jonathan Toews had as many points Thursday (3) as he did in the previous 11 games combined. … Marian Hossa's 3-point night represents the most he has had since Game 20 last season when he had a goal and 3 assists in a 7-1 win over Edmonton.

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