Crawford returns to ice, progressing

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford resumed skating this week and is expected to return to practice after the holidays, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Friday.

Crawford hasn’t played since he suffered a lower-body injury against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 9. He was expected to miss 2-3 weeks after the injury. He’s 17-6-3 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .907 save percentage this season.

“He skated again today,” Quenneville said after the team’s morning skate on Friday. “Both light days yesterday and today, and he’s progressing. We’re probably looking with him [to practice with the team] more so after the holidays.”

Blackhawks rookie goaltender Antti Raanta will make his sixth consecutive start in Crawford’s place against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Raanta is 7-1-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .920 save percentage this season.

Quenneville said Raanta’s quality play doesn’t affect Crawford’s timetable to return.

“When you’re ready to play, you’re ready to play, whether it’s goalies or up front,” Quenneville said. “You got to pass certain hurdles to get clearance. Once you’re there, let’s get ready, and they’re usually ready.”