Long day getting to Chicago Blackhawks for Martinsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 

A 4 a.m. wake-up call. A cab ride that was longer than the flight. A fourth game in five nights.

To say it was an eventful day for Andreas Martinsen, who was called up by the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, would be quite the understatement.

The 6-foot-3, 229-pound Martinsen had just played in the Rockford IceHogs' victory Monday at Iowa, then learned he needed to be in Chicago for the Hawks' game against Colorado at the United Center.

"I got up at 4 and took a flight from Des Moines," said Martinsen, who had 12 goals and 14 assists with Rockford. "Nice little cab ride in the morning traffic."

Martinsen was recalled because Matthew Highmore went hard into the boards against Boston on Sunday and never returned. Highmore is considered day to day.

The Hawks acquired Martinsen when they sent Kyle Baun to Montreal on Oct. 4. He played 55 games for the Avalanche and nine for the Canadiens last season. He is the first Norwegian to play for the Hawks and was just the eighth to play in the NHL when he made his debut on Nov. 10, 2015.

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Martinsen began Tuesday's game skating with Vinnie Hinostroza and Nick Schmaltz. When Rockford practiced at the MB Ice Arena two weeks ago, coach Jeremy Colliton praised Martinsen for being a player who makes his linemates better.

"My role is the same whether I play on the fourth line or with two skilled guys like (Hinostroza and Schmaltz)," Martinsen said. "I (need) to go out there, create some space for them so they can do their thing, be hard on the forecheck, be tough to play against every shift and just play hard."

Kane or DeBrincat?

After Alex DeBrincat's third hat trick of the season Sunday, Patrick Kane told the Blackhawks' rookie "the race is back on."

Indeed, the battle for most goals on the Blackhawks this season likely will come down to Kane and DeBrincat. They each have 25 with eight games remaining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Obviously you want to be the leader," DeBrincat said, "but I'd still be betting on him to finish with more."

Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov and Jonathan Toews all have 20 goals and have an outside chance of finishing No. 1.

Slap shots:

Corey Crawford continues to work out in the gym, but the injured Hawks' goalie has not been on the ice since Feb. 12 in Arizona. … Anthony Duclair (upper body) remains day to day. He's "not close to skating yet," according to coach Joel Quenneville. …

Chris DiDomenico scored 2 goals, Cody Franson had 2 assists and Jeff Glass made 31 saves in Rockford's 5-2 victory Monday at Iowa. Rockford (33-24-4-4) remains in fifth place in the Central Division, but its .569 points percentage is just .008 behind Grand Rapids and .009 behind Iowa. The top four teams qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs.

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