Rookie forward Brandon Saad, inactive as a healthy scratch, watched his Chicago Blackhawks teammates win their season-opening game Saturday in Los Angeles and ruin the Kings' pregame re-enactment of their Stanley Cup celebration from last summer.
One night later, the former Pine-Richland hockey star is expected to play for the Blackhawks.
Because of a third-period leg injury to feisty Blackhawks winger Daniel Carcillo, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune he anticipates that he "likely" would suit up the rookie Saad in Carcillo's spot Sunday night in Phoenix.
The coach added that Carcillo, who needed ACL surgery a year ago and on Saturday was playing his first game since the Jan. 17, 2012 operation, "is going to miss some time here." With a compact schedule and 10 or their opening 12 games on the road, Carcillo's absence means Chicago could use a steady replacement.
Saad, at 20, is the youngest player on the Blackhawks' roster. He made the team last week after playing two regular-season games and two playoff games last season.
He spent the NHL lockout on the minor-league Rockford IceHogs scoring eight goals and 20 points in 31 games. He was named AHL Player of the Week last week.