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Blackhawks vs. Ducks preview: Crawford starts in net again

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Chicago continues its brutal road trip against league-leading Anaheim

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crawford will make his second consecutive start since the All-Star break as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the red-hot Anaheim Ducks on Friday at the Honda Center.

The Blackhawks opened the second half of the season with a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane each tallied a goal and an assist, Andrew Shaw also scored and Crawford allowed four goals on 27 shots.

Friday will be the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. Anaheim earned a 1-0 victory in the series opener on Oct. 28 at the Untied Center before dropping a 4-1 decision on Nov. 28 at the Pond. Chicago have won three of its past four over Anaheim. The Blackhawks sit third in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets and two back of the St. Louis Blues.

Crawford is 8-4-1 lifetime with a 1.95 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts in 14 games against the Ducks. He made 23 saves and allowed one goal in the last meeting between the two teams.

Opponent Breakdown: Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim's six-game win streak came to an end with a 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Ilya Bryzgalov gave up all six goals, including five in the second period. Frederik Andersen stopped all eight shots in relief.

Andrew Cogliano, Patrick Maroon and Matt Beleskey each lit the lamp for the Ducks, who are atop the NHL standings with 70 points. The Ducks are 9-6-2 in back-to-back games, including an impressive 5-3-0 in the second game.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has racked up eight points (3G, 5A) in the new year and leads the team with 35 assists and 50 points this season. Anaheim expects production out of Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but one player that has been a surprise this season is defenseman Sami Vatanen. The 23-year-old Finland native has 30 points (10G, 20A) in his first full NHL season.

Andersen is expected to start for the Ducks. He has won his last seven starts, including a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in his most recent outing, with a .929 save percentage and two shutouts during that span.

Injury Report

ChicagoKris Versteeg (hand) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (knee)

Anaheim: Sheldon Souray (wrist)

Game Information

When: 9 p.m. CT

Where: Honda Center

TV: WGN

Radio: WGN-720

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