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Red Wings-Blackhawks Preview

Thursday, 04.13.2006 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (55-15-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-41-13).

TIME: Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EDT.

The Detroit Red Wings picked up a trophy with a win in their last game. Their quest for a more important one continues when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Detroit won its second straight Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's best record with a 2-0 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday. The Red Wings will finish with the highest point total in the league for the third time in four seasons, and have won the Presidents' Trophy five times since the NHL started awarding it in 1986. No other team has won it more than twice.

For Detroit, however, the focus is on winning its 11th Stanley Cup and first since 2001-02.

"I don't think you saw much celebrating because the big mug is what we're after, not the Presidents' Trophy," said the Red Wings' Manny Legace, who made 29 saves against the Oilers for his seventh shutout this season, the most for a Detroit goalie since 1965-66.

Don MacLean had a power-play goal and Kris Draper also scored for the Red Wings, who won their fifth straight game and extended their point streak to 17 games, going 14-0-3 in that span.

Leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk (lower body injury) and defenseman Mathieu Schneider (groin) are sidelined, but don't need to hurry back now that the Wings have secured home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Coach Dave Lewis could start resting a number of players on his veteran-filled roster beginning Thursday.

The Red Wings have won a franchise-best 10 straight games away from home and are 7-0-1 in their last eight meetings with the Blackhawks, holding them to one goal in 31 power-play opportunities during that span.

Chicago, the NHL's worst power-play team, was held scoreless on seven advantages Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to Minnesota.

"It seems we couldn't get anything going," Blackhawks captain Martin Lapointe said. "In this league, if you can't get your power play going, you won't win games."

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin, who made 20 saves in the loss, is 1-4-1 with a 4.37 goals-against average against Detroit this season.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 118 points, 1st place, Central Division. Blackhawks - 61 points, 4th place, 57 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Henrik Zetterberg and Brendan Shanahan, 36 goals; Nicklas Lidstrom, 61 assists; Datsyuk, 87 points; Chris Chelios, 106 PIM. Blackhawks - Mark Bell, 24 goals; Kyle Calder, 32 assists and 54 points; Matthew Barnaby, 174 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 22.6 percent (98 for 434), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.8 percent (375 for 437), 3rd. Blackhawks - Power play: 12.1 percent (48 for 398), 30th. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (442 for 528), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Legace (35-8-3, 7 SO, 2.18 GAA); Chris Osgood (19-5-5, 2, 2.68). Blackhawks - Khabibulin (16-24-6, 3.27); Craig Anderson (5-12-4, 1, 3.33).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 6-0-1.

LAST MEETING: March 31; Blackhawks 3-2, OT. At Detroit, Patrick Sharp scored 1:29 into overtime and Khabibulin made 39 saves to lift Chicago.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 29-6-3 on the road; Blackhawks - 10-23-7 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 13 '06DET 7 at CHI 3T. Holmstrom
Mar 31 '06CHI 3 at DET 2 - OTP. Sharp
Mar 12 '06DET 5 at CHI 3H. Zetterberg
Mar 11 '06CHI 4 at DET 6K. Draper
Dec 23 '05DET 3 at CHI 2 - OTP. Datsyuk
Nov 01 '05CHI 1 at DET 4B. Lebda
Oct 29 '05DET 4 at CHI 2R. Lang
Oct 27 '05CHI 2 at DET 5M. Schneider
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%

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