CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is expected to play against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday after missing the last 14 games with a lower-body injury, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Monday.
“Looking like good chance, we’re expecting him to play [Tuesday,]” Quenneville said after practice on Monday.
Sharp hasn’t played since suffering an apparent leg injury against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 4. He was expected to miss 3-4 weeks. He has three goals and six assists in 13 games this season.
The Blackhawks have been on a roll since Sharp’s injury. They have gone 11-3-0 without him in the lineup. Quenneville normally doesn’t like to make changes when the team is having success, but he didn’t hesitate to find a spot for Sharp.
Quenneville inserted Sharp on the right wing alongside left winger Bryan Bickell and center Andrew Shaw on the team’s third line during practice on Monday. Sharp also worked with the Blackhawks’ top power-play unit.
“Watching practice today, he looked pretty good with those two guys, Shawzy and Bicks,” Quenneville said. “He gives us some options. He helps our power play. It’s good to get him back playing as well.”
Sharp has mostly played left wing in recent seasons, but he does have some experience at center and right wing. He wasn’t worried about making the adjustment.
“I’ve played all three positions and even go back on the point for power plays, so I’m used to being bounced around and playing with different players, different spots,” Sharp said. “It’s no problem at all.”
Sharp, who has dealt with injuries before, anticipated it would take him a few games to get his timing back.
“First couple of games are a little tricky, but I’m not hesitant at all,” Sharp said. “I’m past the injury physically and mentally. If I can get out there, I just want to get as many reps, as many shifts as I can out there, feel comfortable with the puck and playing what role it is I am playing. And go from there.”