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Blackhawks bring back C Luke Johnson as Marcus Kruger hits injured reserve

The Blackhawks called up center Luke Johnson from their Rockford affiliate this morning to replace Marcus Kruger, who went on injured reserve with a concussion.

Johnson, a rookie who was a fifth-round pick in 2013, was with the Hawks the first two months of the season and played 13 games. He had one assist and averaged 11:07 on the ice. He has four goals and three assists in 10 games for the IceHogs this year, coming off 30 points last season.

The Hawks will have him available starting with Thursday’s game at Dallas.

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Chicago Blackhawks' Luke Johnson looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Philadelphia. The Flyers won 4-0. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola) ORG XMIT: OTKCS148

Kruger must sit out a minimum of seven days and clear the NHL’s concussion protocol. The soonest he can return is Dec. 27 against Minnesota.

He suffered the injury in the second period of Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Nashville when he took an inadvertent elbow to the face from Ryan Hartman. Kruger left the ice bleeding, and coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed the concussion after the game.

Kruger is a mainstay who was on the Hawks’ 2013 and ’15 championship teams and has averaged 10:46 on the ice this season. He has four goals and one assist.