Matchup: Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Venue: United Center; Chicago, IL
Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: National- NBC Sports Network
The Detroit Red Wings (30-23-13, 73 points, 5th place Atlantic Division) got a much needed two points on Friday when they were able to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in a shootout at Joe Louis. The game against the Oilers kept the Red Wings in the heat of the playoff race with 16 games remaining. The schedule does not get any easier from here on out though for the Red Wings. Of the final 16 games, the Red Wings only have two games against a team not competing for a playoff spot, both games against Buffalo. Now will be a time for the younger players on the team to show that they really belong in the NHL and are capable of carrying this team to the playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks (38-15-14, 90 points, 3rd place Central Division) come into tonight’s game in the final guaranteed playoff spot for the Central Division. The Blackhawks do not have anything to worry about though as they are 10 points up on the first Wild Card team. The Blackhawks haven’t been playing standout hockey over their past ten games as they have played to a 5-5-0 record over that span. The Blackhawks will be getting a big lift on the injury front for tonight’s game when Marian Hossa returns from an upper body injury. The game will be Hossa’s first since sustaining the injury against Pittsburgh on March 1st.
The Red Wings are expected to turn to Jimmy Howard in net for tonight’s game. Howard earned the victory against the Oilers on Friday and will be critical for the Red Wings down the stretch if they are to make the playoffs.
The Blackhawks will go with Corey Crawford in net for tonight’s game. Crawford has been rock solid in net for the Blackhawks this season. Crawford has posted a 25-12-5 record with a 2.29 GAA and a .917 save percentage.