Hossa expects to return

Marian Hossa is ready to return to the ice Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.

Hossa, who has been out for the past six games because of an upper-body injury, said he felt great during Wednesday's practice and was ready to contribute.

"There's a great chance I'll play," Hossa said.

That's good news for the Blackhawks (27-5-3), who hold a four-point lead against the Anaheim Ducks for the top record in the Western Conference with 13 games remaining in the regular season. Hossa has 13 goals this season, which trails only Patrick Kane (19) and Jonathan Toews (17) among the team's top scorers.

Meanwhile, injured forward Patrick Sharp also practiced Wednesday but was expected to remain sidelined Thursday against St. Louis, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. Sharp has missed the past 11 games because of an upper-body injury that he sustained March 6 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Corey Crawford will start in net Thursday, Quenneville said. Crawford is 8-1-1 with a 2.69 goals-against average in 10 career starts against the Blues.

-Tom Musick

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