NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 3rd
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (19-16-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (19-18-1), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to rebound from a lopsided
loss tonight, when they head to Phoenix and Jobing.com Arena to battle the
Chicago allowed a season-high nine goals in a setback to Los Angeles on
Tuesday. Ladislav Nagy posted a hat trick to help lead the Kings to a 9-2
Martin Lapointe lit the lamp while Patrick Sharp added his team-leading 20th
goal of the season for the Blackhawks, who have dropped their last two games
after a four-game winning streak.
Nikolai Khabibulin started in net, but was pulled after giving up four goals
on nine shots. Patrick Lalime made 12 saves in relief. Rookie Patrick Kane had
an assist in his fourth straight game to up his team-leading total in assists
to 28. He also has a team-best 37 points.
However, fellow rookie Jonathan Toews injured his left knee and returned to
Chicago to undergo an MRI. Chicago's third-overall pick in the 2006 draft has
posted 15 goals and 32 points in 36 games and also suffered a broken right
index finger this year.
The Blackhawks' loss on Tuesday came in the opener of a three-game road trip
and dropped the club to 7-7-2 as the visiting squad. Chicago wraps its trek on
Friday in Anaheim.
Phoenix has a little bit of momentum on its side after sweeping a home-and-
home set against the Colorado Avalanche. The clubs wrapped that series in
Denver on Wednesday, and Steven Reinprecht notched his fourth career hat trick
to help guide the Coyotes to a 5-2 victory.
Reinprecht also had an assist for a four-point night, and scored his 100th
career goal. Shane Doan lit the lamp and Ilja Bryzgalov made 24 saves for the
Coyotes, who have won two in a row following a three-game slide.
Former Blackhawk Radim Vrbata had a goal in his third straight game and also
had an assist to give him four goals and two helpers over his last three
The Coyotes play the first of back-to-back home games tonight and have lost
four of their last five as the host (1-3-1). Phoenix is just 6-10-1 at home
Chicago defeated Phoenix, 6-1, on November 30 for its second straight win over
the Coyotes after losing five straight.
01/03 10:47:38 ET