Hawks travel to Anaheim to face slumping Ducks
The Hawks (34-10-14) continue their California travels Wednesday night, looking to continue their scoring ways against the Anaheim Ducks (40-13-5), currently the only team in front of Chicago in the NHL standings. The teams have split the season series with a game apiece, and tonight will be the final regular season meeting between the two teams.
A win from Chicago will bring the Hawks to within one point of Anaheim, with one game apiece remaining before the Olympic Break. The Hawks have had difficulty building on momentum in the new year, and despite winning a physical battle against a tough team in the Kings on Monday, they'll need to bring that same intensity against the Ducks as they continue their road trip while "Disney on Ice" occupies the United Center. Though the Hawks remain at the top of the Central Division, St. Louis is a mere three points behind with four games in hand, and a win against a conference rival is needed to help widen the gap.
The Ducks are looking to refocus after they dropped their third home game out of their last four on Monday, and are hoping a visit against one of the league’s top teams can light a spark in their team.
“It’s probably great that Chicago is coming in,” said head coach Bruce Bourdreau. “It’s maybe something we need.” The Ducks have remained atop the league’s rankings for the majority of the season, but with recent struggles, they’ll need to close out the last couple games strong to be in a good position as the final stretch before the playoffs come.
Who’s hot: Corey Perry has 4 goals and 6 assists in his last ten games, despite going scoreless in their last contest....Patrick Kane scored 3 points (2G, 1A) in last night’s contest, and Kris Versteeg is on a 4 game point streak (4 A).
Injury report: The Hawks will be only without Nikolai Khabibulin (LTIR)...Center Nick Bonino (upper body), and defensemen Mark Fistric (lower body) and Sheldon Souray (right wrist surgery) are all on IR, while netminder Viktor Fasth participated in his first full practice Tuesday after being put on IR
Game Info: 9:00 p.m. WGN, FS-W
Location: Honda Center, 2695 E Katella Ave, Anaheim