NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 22nd (All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (16-15-2) at Ottawa Senators (22-8-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will aim for just their third victory of the month when they visit the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.
The Blackhawks are just 2-6-0 in December, but are coming off Wednesday's decisive victory over the Nashville Predators. Patrick Sharp and Robert Lang each scored a pair of goals as Chicago pounded the Predators, 5-2, at the United Center.
Dustin Byfuglien also scored, and Martin Havlat had three assists for Chicago, which put the brakes on a two-game skid.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves, earning a win against the Predators in regulation for the first time since October 12, 2006, a span of nine games (1-6-2).
The Blackhawks are 6-6-2 as the visiting team this year and are playing their last road game of 2007 tonight. Chicago will end December with a three-game homestand before playing its next game as the visitor on January 1st in Los Angeles.
Ottawa will try to rebound tonight after having a six-game winning streak snapped Thursday in Atlanta. Todd White's power-play goal just 47 seconds into the third period stood as the game-winner, helping the Thrashers top Ottawa, 3-2, at Philips Arena.
The deciding goal was set up nicely on a pass by Tobias Enstrom from the top of the point to the mid-slot. White then backhanded the puck out of the reach of Sens' netminder Martin Gerber.
Ottawa had some good scoring chances in the third period, including a power play to close out the game, giving them a two-man advantage after they pulled Gerber in favor of the extra attacker. The Senators got plenty of pressure, but Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen turned aside a long slap shot with about 14 seconds to play, sealing the victory.
Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist, and Daniel Alfredsson also tallied for the Senators. Gerber, who had gone 3-0-0 in his last four appearances, managed to stop 42 shots.
Alfredsson extended his points streak to 10 games and now has four goals and 11 assists in the NHL's longest current points stretch.
Ottawa, which leads the East with 47 points, is 11-3-2 as the visiting club this season.
The Blackhawks have won three of four and four of the last six meetings with the Sens. Tonight marks Chicago's first stop in Ottawa since the Senators notched a 6-1 win on December 18, 2003.
12/22 10:47:21 ET