Will The Point Streak Survive Rivalry Game? Blackhawks visit Detroit Preview

By Keith Schultz

Jan 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (left) is congratulated by left wing Viktor Stalberg (25) for scoring the game winning goal during overtime at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Game #22– Chicago Blackhawks (18-0-3) vs Detroit Red Wings (10-8-3)

Game Time– 11:30am Central

Tv- Nationally broadcasted on NBC

Radio– WGN Radio

Season Series- The Blackhawks lead 1-0  The Hawks won 2-1 in overtime getting both goals from their defenseman. The regulation goal from Duncan Keith and the OT winner from Nick Leddy.

Preview– Detroit is missing some big pieces in their lineup from Darren Helm to Todd Bertuzzi ,but the Red Wings still managed to split a California road trip (the reason they want in the Eastern Conference) by losing to the Kings but beating the Sharks.  Blackhawks nemesis Jimmy Howard will be in the net but even Howard hasn’t been able to slow the turning tide in this rivalry.  The Hawks have won four straight against the Red Wings and eight out of the last 11.  These games are always close no matter what the records say for either team.  Detroit even rested Howard Thursday night in San Jose so you know the franchise short term goal(today) is to be the team that ends the Blackhawks point streak.

The Blackhawks are doing something historically great and it’s being  led by a group of two in Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.  It’s been quite a while since goal tending and not scoring was the top story in Chicago, but both net minders have been extremely strong with the emergence of the great play by Emery during Crawford’s injury as major reason for the streak being able to continue.  Although the big guns for Chicago like Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Jonathan Toews are still leading the team in goals and points, the other main factor for the Hawks streak is the production the Hawks are getting from players on all four lines.  Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg both lit the lamp from the bottom lines Friday night which gives the Hawks balance and flexibilty for Coach Quenneville to play any line at anytime during any contest.

Prediction– The Hawks will be in for their biggest test yet to extend their point streak but the Hawks speed and skill will be too much for the Red Wings to overcome. The Hawks leave the Joe with a 4-2 win. Also look for a big day from Mr. 1,000 NHL games played Marian Hossa, 2 goals and an assist!

What is your Gameday prediction?

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