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Blackhawks targeting Friday return for Crawford

Dennis Wierzbicki / USA TODAY Sports

It could be a very happy holiday for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Head coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday there's a chance Corey Crawford could play before Christmas, according to Blackhawks TV's Eric Lear.

Quenneville said he's eyeing Friday's home game against the Colorado Avalanche for Crawford's return, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The goaltender was given a two-to-three week recovery timetable after having an emergency appendectomy performed Dec. 3, and he apparently remains on schedule for a potential return before the holiday.

“He was out there (Sunday) with some players, and so he got some good work again,” Quenneville said. “(He’ll practice) Tuesday, and we’ll look at the 23rd as an option.”

Chicago began a four-game homestand Sunday with a matchup against the San Jose Sharks. The Blackhawks host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, then the Avalanche on Friday before taking three days off ahead of a Dec. 27 date with the Winnipeg Jets.

Sunday's game is the ninth game Crawford has missed since having the procedure.

Scott Darling has filled in admirably in the starter's absence, winning each of the last four games and five of the eight since Crawford was forced out of the lineup, but he's given up eight goals combined in the last two contests.

Blackhawks targeting Friday return for Crawford
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