PrintPrint

Red Wings look to cool off Blackhawks on TSN2

The Sports Network

2/21/2012 1:39:25 PM

(Sports Network) - Both the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will be missing a star player when the rivals meet tonight in Chicago.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews has been ruled out of the game with an upper-body injury, while Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk had arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be out two weeks.

Watch the game live tonight on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 8pm et/5pm pt.

Having already set the single-season record for most consecutive wins on home ice, the Red Wings bested another mark on Sunday with a 3-2 win over the visiting Sharks. Detroit's 23rd straight win as the host broke Boston's record set over multiple seasons. The Bruins won 22 straight at home to close out the 1929-30 season before beginning winning their first two home games the following season.

The Red Wings got goals from Henrik Zetterberg, Drew Miller and Darren Helm on Sunday to finish off a perfect six-game homestand and improve to 26-2-1 in Detroit this season. They did lose games in Edmonton and Phoenix prior to the residency and own just a 15-15-1 mark on the road.

Still, Detroit is tops in the NHL with 84 points, two more than Northwest Division-leading Vancouver.

"It was a big game for us because to be a really good hockey team you have to pass the big tests," said Helm. "I thought we played well tonight and we're able to keep things rolling."

Joey MacDonald started all six games of the homestand and extended his personal winning streak with 31 saves. MacDonald has been filling in for the injured Jimmy Howard, but the No. 1 is ready to return tonight from a broken right index finger. Howard hasn't played since Feb. 2, but is still tied for the league lead in wins with 32.

MacDonald, meanwhile, was recalled from the minors when Howard was hurt, but will be sticking around as the backup after Detroit placed Ty Conklin on waivers Monday.

Detroit could also have Danny Cleary back on the ice tonight after he missed the final five games of the homestand due to a left knee issue.

A week ago, the Blackhawks wouldn't have seemed like much of a threat to the Red Wings as a 3-2 loss to the Predators was their ninth in a row. However, Chicago has rebounded to win three straight, taking the final two contests of a nine-game road trip before kicking off a three-game homestand on Sunday with a 3-1 win over the Blues.

Corey Crawford allowed a first-period goal, but settled down to make 29 saves. The Blackhawks then ensured their netminder a victory when Duncan Keith and Dave Bolland scored in the third to put Chicago ahead. Marian Hossa capped the scoring with an empty-net tally.

"It was a big game for us and a very good game for us in a lot of ways," said Keith. "We trailed much of the game, but we stuck to the plan and were able to grind it out for the win."

It was Chicago's sixth victory in its past seven at home, where it is 20-6-4 this season, and the club is now trying to win four straight overall for the first time since a five-game run from Dec. 8-18. The Blackhawks are looking to move back up the Western Conference ladder as they have fallen to sixth overall, three points behind fifth-seeded Nashville.

The Red Wings have won two straight in overtime versus the Blackhawks and have won three of the past four encounters overall. They have also captured five of their last seven trips to Chicago.