NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 16th
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (30-23-13) at Chicago Blackhawks (38-15-14), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks hope to avoid a third straight
loss on Sunday night as they battle former division rival Detroit for the
second time since the Red Wings' shifted to the Eastern Conference.
The Blackhawks have lost consecutive 3-2 games versus the Colorado Avalanche
and Nashville, with the recent setback to the Predators coming at home on
Friday. Jonathan Toews and Peter Regin had the goals for Chicago, while Corey
Crawford yielded three goals on 29 shots faced.
The 'Hawks never led in the game, falling behind 2-0 in the first period
before Toews lit the lamp with just 14 seconds on the clock in the opening
frame. His tally came 55 seconds after Nashville's second goal.
"It was tough to watch the last part of the first period," Chicago head coach
Joel Quenneville said. "I thought that was as bad as we probably played for
any stretch all year."
Toews' 26th goal of the season gave him seven goals and eight points in his
past six games, but couldn't help the Blackhawks make up ground in the Central
Division race. Chicago sits third in the standings, one point back of the Avs.
Detroit used to battle Chicago in the Central Division, but moved to the
Eastern Conference prior to this season under realignment. The clubs squared
off for the first time this season Jan. 22 in Detroit, with the Red Wings
managing a 5-4 shootout win to halt a seven-game slide to the Blackhawks.
Chicago has won three in a row and five of its past seven at home versus
Detroit and could have forward Marian Hossa back in the lineup tonight. Hossa
has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury, but practiced on
Friday and is targeting either tonight or Tuesday for a return.
The Red Wings are coming off Friday's 2-1 shootout decision over the Edmonton
Oilers. Riley Sheahan scored in regulation and Tomas Tatar had the lone goal
in the tiebreaker, lifting the puck over Edmonton netminder Viktor Fasth in
the third round.
Jimmy Howard then came up with a stop on Taylor Hall to secure the victory for
a Red Wings club that had lost four of five coming in and is two points back
of the second wild card spot in the East.
"We had to work for everything," said Howard, who finished with 21 saves.
"They're a dangerous team right now when they are playing as loose as they
are. They're just wheeling-and-dealing out there and they're a tough team to
play against. They have a lot of skilled forwards and they made us work for
everything here tonight."
Howard, who had missed Detroit's previous game with the flu, snapped a
personal 0-2-1 drought and is 4-7-5 with a 2.79 goals against average in his
career versus the Blackhawks.
Crawford is 11-2-3 with a 1.94 GAA lifetime when facing off against the Red
Wings, who have lost three in a row on the road.
03/16 10:51:11 ET