Preview: Blackhawks at Coyotes
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[February 07, 2014]
A lengthy road trip is proving to be
just what the Chicago Blackhawks needed. Chicago has earned at least one
point in each of the first five contests of its seven-game trek, which
continues Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Blackhawks are 3-0-2
on their excursion after suffering back-to-back regulation losses for
just the second time this season.
The Blackhawks are coming off an impressive 2-0 triumph at
Anaheim on Wednesday in which Corey Crawford made 29 saves for his
ninth career shutout and Marian Hossa recorded a goal and an assist.
Phoenix looks to salvage the finale of the three-game season series
against Chicago as it wraps up a five-game homestand. The Coyotes,
who went 0-1-1 in the first two meetings with the Blackhawks, are
2-2-0 on the stretch at home following a 3-1 loss to Dallas on
TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (35-10-14): Chicago added a pair of centers on
Thursday, acquiring Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the
New York Islanders for a fourth-round pick in this year's draft.
Regin, who recorded two goals and five assists in 44 games with New
York, will remain with the Blackhawks while Bouchard will report to
Rockford of the American Hockey League. A former 20-goal scorer,
Bouchard notched four tallies and five assists in 28 contests with
the Islanders before being sent to AHL Bridgeport.
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE COYOTES (26-20-10): No one is hotter for Phoenix than
Antoine Vermette, who enters Friday with a career-high eight-game
point streak. The 31-year-old has collected eight goals and three
assists during the run and has netted nine of his team-leading 21
tallies over his last 10 contests. After going head-to-head on
Friday, Rob Klinkhammer will celebrate what should be the happiest
moment of his life with Kris Versteeg as the Chicago forward will
serve as best man at the Phoenix center's wedding on Feb. 15. The
close friends met for dinner Thursday to discuss the plans for the
event. "I need to review what he's planning to say for the best man
toast and see if it's appropriate," Klinkhammer joked.
Chicago assigned C Brandon Pirri to Rockford. The 22-year-old
recorded six goals and five assists in 28 games with the Blackhawks
this season but was kept off the scoresheet in each of his last 12
Vermette is six goals shy of his career high of 27 set in 2009-10
while with Columbus.
The Blackhawks will be without RW Patrick Kane, who is attending
the funeral of his grandfather.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 5, Coyotes 2
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