Blackhawks welcome rival Red Wings on TSN2

The Sports Network

1/8/2012 12:05:58 PM

(Sports Network) - A Central Division showdown is on tap tonight in the Windy City, as the Chicago Blackhawks welcome the rival Detroit Red Wings to the United Center.

You can watch the game live on TSN2 starting at 7:30pm et/ 4:30pm pt. The game is also available on TSN Mobile TV.

St. Louis is currently on top of the crowded Central Division with 53 points, but the Blackhawks are just one point behind in second place and Detroit is one point further behind in third. The Blues are idle today.

Chicago and Detroit have contested just one of their six scheduled meetings this season and the Blackhawks won that encounter, posting a 3-2 regulation win at the United Center on Dec. 30. Chicago has taken five of six and eight of 12 in this series overall and the Red Wings have lost two of their last three in the Second City.

Since beating the Red Wings a little over a week ago, however, the Blackhawks have gone on a three-game slide. Chicago has lost all three games in regulation and surrendered 13 goals over that span.

After getting dealt a 5-4 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday, the Blackhawks suffered a 4-0 setback the following night against visiting Colorado. Semyon Varlamov stopped all 27 shots sent his way to post the shutout for the Avalanche. It marked the second time Chicago had been shut out in the last five games.

Corey Crawford stopped 18 shots for the Blackhawks, who have dropped three straight for the third time this season, but haven't lost four in a row since a five-game slide from March 13-20, 2009.

"We've had a few tough losses recently," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville after Friday's loss. "But not tonight. We didn't show up and we got what we deserved."

The loss to Colorado marked the start of a four-game homestand for the Blackhawks, who have lost three of four in Chicago, but are still 14-5-3 as the host this season.

The Red Wings are coming off Saturday's regulation loss in Toronto. Joffrey Lupul scored the go-ahead goal seven minutes into the third period as the Maple Leafs posted the 4-3 victory at Air Canada Centre. Detroit has lost its last four road games in the series and hasn't beaten the Leafs in Toronto since November 16, 2002.

The Red Wings are just 10-12-0 as the road team this season compared to a stellar 15-2-1 mark at home.

Jimmy Howard allowed four goals on only 18 shots for Detroit, which had won four of five. The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 in the first period, but clawed their way back into the game thanks to goals from Todd Bertuzzi, Niklas Kronwall and Jiri Hudler.

"That was un-Red Wing-like," coach Mike Babcock said of his team's start. "You can't win every night in the league playing like that."

Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom is expected to play today after missing the previous five tests with a groin strain. Fellow forward Darren Helm has sat out the last four games with the same injury and is questionable for tonight.