CHICAGO – A terrific start gave way to a scary scene Tuesday for Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.
Early in the third period, Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen elbowed Hossa in the back of the head as the Hawks’ winger tried to handle the puck. Hossa remained on the ice for a couple of minutes before getting up slowly and walking to the locker room.
The sequence would have been troubling for any Hawks player, but especially so for Hossa, who left the ice on a stretcher last season after a blind-side hit by Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres. Hossa sustained a concussion on that play and required months to recover.
Unlike last year, Hossa remained at the United Center for the rest of the game but did not return to the ice. If he has to miss games because of his latest injury, the Hawks will be without one of their best all-around players.
“I saw him after the game,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “He seemed OK.”
Quenneville declined to say what he thought of the hit by Hansen, who drew a two-minute penalty for roughing and could face further discipline from the league office.
“I think everyone saw it,” Quenneville said. “Everyone can have their own opinion.”
Hawks forward Patrick Sharp offered his first impression of Hansen's hit.
“I thought it was a questionable hit,” Sharp said. “I’d have to see the replay a few more times, but I didn’t like the hit when I saw it. You like it even less when you see ‘Hoss’ on the ice – [someone] who has been through something like that before.”
Hossa scored two goals and earned the game’s No. 1 star despite his early exit.
Sore subject: Defenseman Brent Seabrook missed Tuesday’s game two days after blocking a shot against the Los Angeles Kings.
A reporter asked Quenneville where the puck hit Seabrook.
“Somewhere,” Quenneville said.
Here’s a hint: No man wants to get hit in the somewhere.
Minus Seabrook, Quenneville promoted veteran Sheldon Brookbank to the top defensive line alongside Duncan Keith. Defenseman Michael Rozsival also appeared in his sixth game.
Waiting game: Ray Emery started his third consecutive game in goal in place of No. 1 starter Corey Crawford, who remained sideline because of an upper-body injury.
Quenneville said Crawford skated Tuesday morning
“[He’s] progressing,” Quenneville said.
Crawford is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage this season.
Hawks bits: After scoring against the Canucks, Sharp is one point shy of 400 for his career. … The Hawks are 8-0-0 when they score first and 5-0-3 when they do not.