NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 4th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (31-25-9) at Chicago Blackhawks (35-23-6), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews and the sizzling Chicago Blackhawks will
take aim at a seventh consecutive victory this evening, when they host the
Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center.
The Blackhawks have won a season-high six games in a row since their last loss
against Columbus on Feb. 18. That setback versus the Blue Jackets stands as
Chicago's only regulation loss in 11 contests (8-1-2).
The recent hot streak has helped Chicago improve its standing in the Western
Conference playoff race. With 76 points, the defending Stanley Cup champions
are currently locked in a three-way tie with Los Angeles and Phoenix for the
West's fourth seed.
Jonathan Toews has played a big part in Chicago's surge and he is riding a
seven-game point streak into tonight's tilt. Toews has six goals and seven
assists during the run and Chicago's captain has also notched five goals over
his last three outings.
All told, Toews, who was recently named the NHL's First Star for February, has
registered a point in 13 of his last 15 trips to the ice and he is leading the
Blackhawks in assists (38) and points (63) this season.
Toews scored twice to help the Blackhawks take a 6-4 win over the visiting
Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Tonight, Chicago can post its first seven-game
winning streak since it claimed eight straight victories from Nov. 9-25, 2009.
"We're not looking at it as a streak cause we've been playing good for a while
now," said Toews. "We're not gonna look too far ahead. We'll use the momentum
we've got and keep working hard out there."
Michael Frolik added a goal and two assists while Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa
and Brian Campbell each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks. Corey
Crawford stopped 21 shots in the victory.
The Blackhawks, who are still nine points behind Detroit for the Central
Division lead, have won three straight on home ice and are 20-14-0 in the
Windy City this season.
Tonight, however, the Blackhawks will face a club they haven't had much
success against in recent years. Carolina won the only encounter between the
team in 2009-10 and has gone 8-1 with a tie in the last 10 matchups in this
series. The Hurricanes have also won five times in their last seven trips to
Carolina has won two straight and three of four overall and has moved into the
seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Hurricanes are just
one point ahead of the New York Rangers for the East's eighth and final
The 'Canes extended their lead over Buffalo in the standings to three points
with Thursday's overtime victory over the visiting Sabres. Jamie McBain scored
the winner 26 seconds into OT as Carolina claimed a 3-2 victory at RBC Center.
In the extra session, McBain took a pass at the right point, took a stride
down and blasted a shot past Ryan Miller for the win.
Jiri Tlusty and Chad LaRose each had a goal for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward
stopped 27 shots in the win.
"It was a playoff-type game out there tonight," said Ward. "It was fast-paced
and was to be expected between two clubs fighting for points. We just have to
focus on what we need to do and win hockey games."
Carolina has a 13-15-6 record as the guest this season and has lost six of its
last seven road games.
03/04 10:40:50 ET