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Slumping Blackhawks visit red-hot Ducks

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Chicago is on a four-game losing streak, while Anaheim is flying high with four straight wins.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks and Ducks have both experienced some lengthy losing streaks this season. Anaheim, however, seems to have found some footing while Chicago flounders.

The Blackhawks will try to avoid their fifth straight loss Wednesday when they visit Anaheim, who is on a four-game win streak.

The Ducks are no strangers to losing streaks though as they dropped seven straight from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1, including a 3-1 loss Oct. 23 in Chicago.

The Blackhawks had a wild start to the season with a 6-2-2 mark before sliding down the standings during an eight-game losing streak that cost longtime coach Joel Quenneville his job Nov. 6. They’ve gone a mere 3-8-2 with Jeremy Colliton at the helm.

One of Chicago’s biggest problems lately is giving up early first-period goals. The Blackhawks have given up the first goal in seven straight games. In total, they’ve allowed 16 goals — including three in the first two minutes of the game — during that seven-game span. Their 3-2 loss to the Flames on Sunday was the first time in that stretch they’ve held the opposition without a goal past the six-minute mark.

The last time the Blackhawks scored first in a game was Nov. 18 when they defeated the Wild 3-1 in Chicago.

Dylan Strome has two goals and an assist in his four games with the Blackhawks since being acquired from the Coyotes. Brendan Perlini, however, has not found the scoresheet and only has one shot on goal.

Corey Crawford is expected to start in net for Chicago. He’s 5-11-1 with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage this season.

Anaheim is expected to have a new player in the lineup in forward Daniel Sprong, who was acquired from the Penguins in exchange for rookie defenseman Marcus Pettersson. Sprong has four goals and nine points in 42 career games with Pittsburgh, and led their AHL team in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton with goals, assists and points last season.

Anaheim’s top line leads its offensive, with Ryan Getzlaf pacing the team in scoring with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 23 games. Rickard Rakell is only two points back (five goals, 15 assists) and Pontus Aberg leads the team with nine goals. Aberg is coming off a three-point outing Sunday, when he had two goals and an assist in Anaheim’s 6-5 win over Washington.

The Ducks are expected to have John Gibson between the pipes. He has posted a 2.58 GAA and .927 save percentage in 23 appearances.

*Lineups will be updated

Projected lines

Blackhawks

Perlini — Toews — Saad

Kahun — Kampf — Kane

Fortin — Strome — DeBrincat

Hayden — Anisimov — Kruger

Keith — Jokiharju

Manning — Seabrook

Gustafsson — Forsling

Crawford

Ward

Ducks

Rakell — Getzlaf — Aberg

Ritchie — Henrique — Sprong

Cogliano — Kesler — Silfverberg

Sherwood — Rowney — Kase

Lindholm — Montour

Larsson — Manson

Welinski — Dotchin

Gibson

Miller

How to watch

Time: 9:30 p.m.

Location: Honda Center, Anaheim

TV: NBC Sports Network, WGN