NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 29th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (22-7-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (25-4-3), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After skating their way through more than half the season
with barely a whiff of adversity, the slumping Anaheim Ducks will try to halt
a four-game skid when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
Anaheim has failed to gain a point during its four-game slide and hasn't won
since notching a 4-2 home victory against the Blackhawks on March 20. Despite
going 0-4 since that win, the Ducks are still Chicago's primary competition
for the top seed in the West and are five points behind the Blackhawks.
The Ducks have been outscored by a 16-5 margin during their current slide and
were handed a 4-0 setback Wednesday in San Jose. Antti Niemi stopped all 22
shots he faced and Tommy Wingels added three points to help the Sharks
complete the sweep of Anaheim in the home-and-home series.
Anaheim fell behind 3-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game and was never able
to mount any kind of comeback. Jonas Hiller made 25 saves in defeat for the
Ducks, who hadn't lost more than two in a row this season before the current
"You can't get behind 2-0, 3-0, in the first period consistently and expect to
win," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It catches up to you."
Wednesday's loss marked the start of a four-game road trip for the Ducks, who
are 9-3-4 as the visiting team this season.
The Ducks are 2-0 against Chicago this season and Boudreau's club turned a 2-1
deficit after 40 minutes into a 4-2 win when the teams met over a week ago.
The clubs have split the last 10 encounters overall, but Anaheim has lost
seven of its past 10 games in Chicago.
The Central-leading Blackhawks snapped a two-game slide in their last trip to
the ice, posting Tuesday's 2-0 win in Calgary.
Ray Emery stopped 16 shots to notch his first shutout of the season in
Tuesday's triumph, while Nick Leddy and Brent Seabrook each scored. Patrick
Kane assisted on both goals for the Blackhawks, who avoided their first three-
game losing streak since February of last season.
"It was a big win for us, especially after a couple losses where we gave up a
lead late or a tied game," said Kane, who extended his point streak to seven
games. "It was huge to shut the door, especially in the last minutes of the
[third] period and not give them anything."
Kane has five goals and nine assists during his seven-game run.
The Blackhawks have a superb 12-2-1 record at the United Center this season
and are wrapping a three-game homestand tonight. Chicago will visit Detroit on
Sunday before playing seven of their next 10 games in the Windy City.
03/29 10:51:01 ET