Emery, Sharp out vs. Predators

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp (upper-body injury) and goaltender Ray Emery (lower-body) will miss Friday's game against the Nashville Predators, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Thursday.

Sharp, who has five goals and 13 assists in 26 games this season, will miss his third consecutive game with the injury. He recently sat out 14 games due to an upper-body injury, returned for two games and then suffered his latest injury. Sharp, who practiced in a white noncontact jersey Thursday, would not say whether the two injuries were linked to each other.

"Getting closer, and I feel pretty good in practice, skating well," Sharp said after Thursday's practice at Johnny's IceHouse West. "It's a frustrating process for me personally, but getting closer."

Emery did not participate in Wednesday's optional practice and did not practice on Thursday. Quenneville said he expected Emery to be back on the ice on Friday, but he would not play in the game. Emery is 16-1-0 with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.

The Blackhawks recalled goaltender Carter Hutton from the Rockford IceHogs on Thursday to fill in for Emery. The 27-year-old Hutton had a 26-22-1 record with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in 51 games with the IceHogs this season.

Blackhawks defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michal Rozsival also missed practice Thursday and are considered day-to-day. Quenneville said he expected them both to play this weekend. He said Hjalmarsson would definitely play on Friday.

Quenneville said he hoped Sharp would return to game action during the team's upcoming trip to Canada. The Blackhawks play road games against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday and Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Sharp thought it was important for him to play again before the playoffs began.

"It would be nice to play some games before heading into the playoffs," Sharp said. "It's going to be hopefully a tough, long run in the playoffs. Every game is physical and intense, and I want to be ready to play. It'd be nice to get in there in the regular season and play a couple down the stretch and prepare."

The Blackhawks clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Wednesday. They are also leading the race for the league's Presidents' Trophy. They have 70 points in 42 games and are followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have 66 points in 43 games.