Preview: Blackhawks at Red Wings
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[January 22, 2014]
The Detroit Red Wings begin life
without Jimmy Howard for the second time this season when they host the
Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. The United States Olympian re-injured
his left knee midway through the second period of Monday's 4-1 loss to
St. Louis. Jonas Gustavsson is expected to receive the nod in place of
Howard, who was sidelined eight games with the initial injury in
Gustavsson, who has been out with a groin injury since Dec. 28,
will face a stern test as the defending Stanley Cup champions have
won seven straight regular-season contests versus their Original Six
rivals. Detroit provided quite the scare for Chicago during the
playoffs, however, winning three of the first four games of their
Western Conference second-round series before the Blackhawks turned
the tide. Chicago fared well against arguably two of the best teams
in the league, posting a 4-2 triumph over NHL-leading Anaheim on
Friday before skating to a 3-2 victory against Boston two days later
in a rematch of the Stanley Cup final.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (32-8-11): Former Red Wing Marian Hossa has
been on a tear, collecting five goals and two assists during his
five-game point streak. Corey Crawford hasn't been too shabby in his
own right as he received the NHL's Third Star of the Week. The
Montreal native turned aside 34 shots on Sunday and owns an 11-2-2
mark with a slim 1.82 goals-against average versus Detroit.
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ABOUT THE RED WINGS (21-18-10): Injuries remain the name of
the game for Detroit, which likely will see superstar Pavel
Datsyuk (lower body) miss his eighth straight contest and
veteran Daniel Alfredsson (back) his sixth. Jonathan Ericsson
told reporters that he expects to play, although coach Mike
Babcock told MLive.com that "there's a chance" the defenseman
would compete. Ericsson has been sidelined since Dec. 23 with
Although Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane netted the shootout
winner on Sunday, he is mired in a 10-game goalless drought.
Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg has one goal and two
assists in his last two games overall — and 47 points (19 goals,
28 assists) in 51 career contests versus Chicago.
Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook scored the overtime winner in
Game 7 of their series against the Red Wings last season.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Red Wings 1
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