NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 25th (All times eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (5-1-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (3-2-2), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Blackhawks have hit their stride under new head coach Joel Quenneville. Chicago will try to record a point in a fourth straight game under Quenneville's guidance, as it hosts the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the United Center.
Chicago dismissed former head coach Denis Savard just four games into the season, a span that saw the club go 1-2-1. The Blackhawks then suffered a shootout loss to the Blues on October 18 before winning two straight.
The Blackhawks' latest win came on Wednesday, as Nikolai Khabibulin posted 23 saves in a 3-0 victory against Edmonton. The shutout was Khabibulin's first of the season and 39th of his career.
Patrick Sharp had a goal and assist to pace the offense, giving him a team- high in goals (5) and points (10). Brent Seabrook added a short-handed goal and Aaron Johnson also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks.
Chicago hopes to wrap a three-game homestand tonight perfect while also improving on its 3-0-1 mark overall this year as the host.
The Blackhawks had success last year against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, winning five of eight overall in the series and three of four in Chicago.
The series advantage is short-term though, as the Red Wings have won 11 of 17 and 18 of their last 25 versus Chicago.
Detroit has won three in a row thanks to Friday's 5-3 win over Atlanta. Former Thrasher Marian Hossa had two goals and an assist against his former team, while Henrik Zetterberg also had two goals.
Hossa spent two-plus seasons in Atlanta, scoring 108 goals to go along with 140 assists in 222 games with the team from 2005-08, but was dealt to Pittsburgh before the trade deadline last season. He then signed a one-year deal with Detroit in the offseason.
Brian Rafalski had two assists to give him points in all seven of Detroit's games so far this year. He has posted a goal and eight assists in that span.
Dan Cleary also lit the lamp and Chris Osgood made 30 saves in the win. Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk each added an assist and both players, along with Hossa, are now riding five-game point streaks.
The Red Wings are 3-0-0 as the road team this year and begin a five-game voyage with tonight's game. Detroit will also visit Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and Vancouver on the trip.
10/25 10:42:31 ET