Marian Hossa a surprise scratch for the Blackhawks

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/16/2013, 07:01pm

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Marian Hossa was a surprise scratch for tonight’s Blackhawks game against the Nashville Predators. Hossa was at Bridgestone Arena in the morning. Hossa, despite back problems that kept him out of the preseason, had played in every game — including back-to-back sets — this season, and was playing his best hockey of late, with five goals and four assists in his last eight games.

The Hawks called it a “lower-body” injury, which suggests it’s not his back.

Kris Versteeg, acquired Thursday night in a trade with the Florida Panthers, started Saturday’s game against Nashville in Hossa’s spot on the top line with Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews. The Hawks dressed seven defensemen to make up for Hossa’s absence, meaning Sheldon Brookbank likely will be back at third-line right wing for the night.