Blackhawks hit the road against rival Detroit

CHI @ DET

03/31/2013

11:30am CST

 

The Western Conference leading Chicago Blackhawks (25-5-3) face off against their division rival Detroit Red Wings (17-12-5) in their final visit to Joe Louis Arena during the 2013 regular season.

The Blackhawks have struggled as of late, suffering five regulation losses in their previous nine games. Across those five losses, Chicago has averaged less than three goals per game, and things won't be any easier today against a Detroit team that has yielded just six goals over their previous four contests.

With Ray Emery (12-1-0) suffering his first loss of the season against Anaheim on Friday, it will be Corey Crawford's (13-4-3) turn to start between the pipes according to CSN's Tracey Myers. Despite the team's recent struggles, the Chicago goaltending tandem of Crawford and Emery remains arguably the league's best, with both netminders posting a GAA under 2.10 and a combined SV% above 0.920.

The absence of Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa over the past few weeks has likely played a part in Chicago's March swoon. The pair is not only two of the team's most offensively talented performers, but they are also exceptional on the back-check and in the defensive zone. Though they're currently skating with the team in practice, neither will make an appearance in Detroit.

On the Detroit side of the puck, Jimmy Howard (14-9-4) will likely make his 29th appearance in net today and is in the midst of a very strong stretch, with just 10 goals allowed over his previous five starts while posting a 0.932 SV%. The Blackhawks will need to figure out a way to solve him if they want to get back off the snide.

They key to the game today may just end up being the anemic Blackhawks power play and whether or not it's able to find success against's Detroit's atrocious 24th ranked penalty kill.

Team Stats:

Blackhawks STAT Redwings
53 P 39
0.803 P% 0.574
3.18 G/G 2.59
2.12 GA/G 2.44
18.0 PP% 17.4
84.5 PK% 78.9
31.1 S/G 29.5

 

Injury Report:

Chicago remains without Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, while Detroit has Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson, Kyle Quincey listed on Injured Reserve.

Blackhawks record: 25-5-3
Red Wings record: 17-12-5
Time: 11:30am CST
Location: Joe Louis Arena
Where to watch: NBC, NHLN-CA
Where to listen: WGN 720, 97.1 FM
Next 2 games: Monday 4/1 vs NSH, Thursday 4/4 vs STL

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