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Game Preview : Watch Out For The Flying V

Chicago Blackhawks (22 pts 10-0-2) vs Anaheim Ducks (17 pts 8-2-1), 7:30 PM United Center - Chicago, IL, TV: CSN Chicago Radio: WGN 720 AM

Jonathan Daniel

Walking out of the United Center on January 27th, after a thrilling OT win over the hated Red Wings, I had no idea that the Hawks would return home 16 days later still without a regulation loss. A lot of people worry about a let down for the first game back home after a long road trip. But this is not the case for the Chicago Blackhawks. As we all know, the Hawks take two extended road trips every year for the Circus in November and Disney on Ice in February. Since Joel Quenneville became head coach in 2008, the Hawks are 6-2 in the first game back from these two road trips. No one is hotter in the NHL right now than Patrick Kane. He has at least one point in 11 of the 12 games this season. Corey Crawford will be back in net tonight for the Hawks as he coming of his first shutout of the year. The Blackhawks are 2nd in the NHL in goals with an average of 3.42. The Ducks are right behind them with 3.36 goals a game, so the defense and Crawford will need to be on high alert. The Hawks saw some new faces skating before practice this morning in Daniel Carcillo, Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz. Coach Q says he hopes Carcillo will be able to participate in full practice in the next few days.

The Anaheim Ducks are one of the leagues surprise stories out of the gates. They have overtaken the San Jose Sharks, who apparently the Hawks broke, for the Pacific Division lead and currently sit in 2nd place in the Western Conference with 17 points. The ageless wonder Teemu Selanne, a sure fire Hall of Famer, continues to excel at 42 years old. The Ducks top two scorers, Selanne and Saku Koivu, are a combined 80 years old. The Hawks will not see Jonas Hiller tonight, who left Friday night's game in Dallas with a lower body injury. His replacement, Viktor Fasth, has yet to lose in net this year. The Blackhawks will need to exploit the Ducks weakest link so far; their penalty kill. Anaheim has the second worst PK unit in the entire league. They have given up 13 power play goals in 40 chances which is only a 67.5 kill %. The Hawks will need to use their speed to draw penalties and then cash in once on the man advantage.

Chicago Blackhawks probable lineup:


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp -Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Michael Frolik - Marcus Kruger -Jamal Mayers

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Rozsival - Nick Leddy


Corey Crawford 7-0-2, 1.62 GAA, .935 save %, 1 SO


Daniel Carcillo (knee) OUT

Leading Scorers

P. Kane 19 pts (9 G, 10 A)

J. Toews 12 pts (6 G, 6 A)

M. Hossa 12 pts (6 G, 6 A)

P. Sharp 11 pts (2 G, 9 A)

B. Bickell 7 pts (2 G, 5 A)

Probable Anaheim Ducks Lineup:


Kyle Palmieri - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Emerson Etem - Bobby Ryan - Teemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey - Nick Bonino - Brad Staubitz

Defensive Pairings

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Luca Sbisa - Toni Lydman

Bryan Allen - Ben Lovejoy


Viktor Fasth 5-0-0, 1.72 GAA, .932 save %, 1 SO


Cam Fowler (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

T. Selanne 14 pts (4 G, 10 A)

S. Koivu 13 pts (4 G, 9 A)

B. Ryan 11 pts (4 G, 7 A)

D. Winnik 9 pts (5 G, 4 A)

R. Getzlaf 9 pts (3 G, 6 A)