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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (21-0-3) at Colorado Avalanche (8-10-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It's already midway through the season and the Chicago Blackhawks still have yet to lose in regulation.
The Blackhawks will try to extend their amazing season-opening point streak on Friday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche for the second part of a home- and-home series
Chicago earned a dramatic win to keep the streak alive in its most recent outing, beating the Avalanche, 3-2, thanks to Daniel Carcillo's go-ahead score with under a minute to play in regulation. The victory pushed the Blackhawks' record this season to 21-0-3 and the team hasn't lost a regular season game in regulation since March 25 of last year, a mark of 24-0-6.
As a result of their fantastic start, the Blackhawks are leading the Central Division by 19 points over Detroit and they have a 10-point edge over Anaheim for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Also, the Blackhawks extended their franchise-best winning streak to 11 games thanks to Carcillo's game-winner with 49.3 seconds to play. Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews also scored, while Ray Emery made 20 saves in the front end of the home-and-home at United Center.
"You know we don't talk about it, to be honest," said Carcillo. "We just take it day-by-day. We'll enjoy this tonight and then get back at it tomorrow to prepare for Friday."
Wednesday's win did not come without a cost, however, as forward Patrick Sharp suffered an upper-body injury and is not with the team in Denver.
Sharp joins another key Chicago forward, Marian Hossa, on the shelf. Hossa missed Wednesday's game with an upper-body injury suffered the previous night against Minnesota, but there's a good chance he could play on Friday. Sharp and Hossa are tied for third on the Blackhawks with 18 points this season.
Shaw was also hurt in the opener of this home-and-home, and could miss Thursday's test with a head injury.
Colorado has won three of four and five of its last seven home games against the Blackhawks. The Avs had also won three straight in this series before losing Wednesday.
John Mitchell and Matt Duchene each posted a goal Wednesday for the Avalanche, who have lost six of their last seven games. Semyon Varlamov gave up all three goals on 31 shots.
"We did some things well," Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco said. "To come away without any points is disappointing."
The Avs played Wednesday without winger Milan Hejduk, who has sat out two straight with an injured torso. He is questionable for Friday's rematch.
Chicago is 10-0-2 as the road club this season and Colorado is 6-2-1 at the Pepsi Center.
03/08 10:41:51 ET