Ex-Rivals Blackhawks and Red Wings meet for the first time this season

 

The Blackhawks (32-8-11) are playing the first game of a back-to-back against the Red Wings (21-18-10) on Wednesday, in Detroit, before going to Minnesota to play the Wild on Thursday. The Hawks are coming off a shootout win against Boston on Sunday, one that saw Patrick Kane score his first shootout goal of the season. It will be the first meeting this season for the Blackhawks and Red Wings, since Detroit was moved to the Eastern conference.

 

The Red Wings have faced some issues this season, with an onslaught of injuries, and problems with goaltending. Their usual starting goaltender, Jimmy Howard, has been injured, and less solid than in past seasons. He is currently listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed lower-body injury that occurred during the second period of the Red Wings’ Monday game against the St Louis Blues. Howard is unable to play Wednesday, so we can expect backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to be in the net.

 

During practice on Tuesday, several other players did not play, but it was announced that both Kyle Quincey and Niklas Kromwall, absent from practice, would play. There was no word yet on Captain Henrik Zetterberg who also missed practice.

 

The Blackhawks have managed to stay healthy during the grueling season, with very little changes to their lineup, or call-ups needed from the Rockford Icehogs, since the goaltending situation settled in Corey Crawford  as the main goaltender and Antti Raanta as his backup. Crawford will start in net tomorrow.

 

The Blackhawks are still an offensive force in the league, leading the NHL in goals for, despite a disappointing penalty kill, ranking 29th, with only the New York Islanders trailing behind. Their power play, however, remains strong, 5th in the league.

 

The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks have had a rivalry spanning decades, and the 2012/13 Western Conference Semi-Finals playoffs series did nothing to lessen it, with a 7 games series that saw the Blackhawks win, after a 3 games deficit. These two teams are not in the same conference anymore, however we can expect the game to be heated on both sides, as it usually is.

 

Game time is 8.00 p.m. ET and can be seen live on TSN2 and NBCSN.

 

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