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Chicago Blackhawks getting Hjalmarsson back for stretch run (Yahoo Sports)


FILE - In this March 16, 2016, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) controls the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Chicago. The 29-year-old Hjalmarsson is skating again and looks ready to return Thursday night against Anaheim, giving Chicago a boost as it tries to chase down Minnesota for the Central Division title and top spot in the Western Conference. The durable defenseman has been sidelined for four straight games with an upper-body injury after missing a total of two games in the previous three seasons. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The 29-year-old Hjalmarsson is skating again and is expected to return Thursday night against Anaheim, giving Chicago a boost as it tries to chase down Minnesota for the Central Division title and top spot in the Western Conference. Hjalmarsson is one of several NHL players coming back from injuries who could affect the playoff races down the stretch. Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick, New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and Philadelphia forward Travis Konecny recently returned to the ice, giving their respective teams a lift as they fight for playoff positioning.

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