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Red Wings-Blackhawks Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Red Wings-Blackhawks Preview
Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

After pulling out close victories during their current four-game win streak, the Detroit Red Wings look to make things a bit easier Thursday when they visit the struggling Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings have won all four games during their streak by one goal, bouncing back from a three-game losing skid that briefly left the club under .500.

"Since we got back from the West Coast, the guys have dug in," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I think it's evident in how we play."

The Red Wings (7-4-1) lost all three games on the road during the streak, but have since won consecutive games away from Detroit, a streak they'll try to extend against the Blackhawks.

Chicago (4-8-0) has lost six straight since starting the season 4-2, although it finally scored a goal in its latest defeat, a 5-2 loss Tuesday to the New York Islanders.

Before Jasson Cullimore scored with 4:14 left in the second period, the Blackhawks had been shutout in three consecutive games and gone 240 minutes and 56 seconds without a goal.

"I think we had three goals disallowed during (the streak)," said Chicago defenseman Adrian Aucoin, whose team hasn't won since beating Montreal 2-1 on Oct. 18. "It's nice to finally score, but it would be nicer to win."

Detroit has won eight of the last nine meetings with Chicago, including all four last season at the United Center.

Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen scored 79 seconds apart in the first period as the Red Wings beat Calgary 2-1 at home Wednesday.

Holmstrom has three goals and two assists in his last three games after scoring only two points in Detroit's first nine games.

His goal Wednesday came on the power play, but Detroit is still struggling with the man advantage. After converting on 22.1 percent of their opportunities last season, the Red Wings are scoring on only 11.1 percent of their chances this season (7-for-63).

While the Red Wings are winning, the Blackhawks haven't been able to accomplish much over the last two weeks. They are only 3-for-26 on the power play during their losing streak and have been playing without starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who broke his finger Oct. 21.

"I think we're working hard," Aucoin said. "It's just maybe we're not working as smart as we can. Guys try to do too much, and we start to work individually, when we all know that we have to work as a team to win."

Backup Brian Boucher is 0-6 with a 4.04 goals-against average this season and has only one win in eight career starts against Detroit.

The Blackhawks, who play three of the next four at home, are 2-4 at the United Center, having been outscored 19-12. Following this contest, Detroit returns home for three straight games.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '07CHI 2 at DET 7K. Calder
Apr 05 '07DET 2 at CHI 3 - SOP. Sharp
Mar 02 '07CHI 2 at DET 6V. Filppula
Feb 27 '07DET 4 at CHI 1T. Holmstrom
Feb 21 '07CHI 2 at DET 4H. Zetterberg
Jan 13 '07CHI 3 at DET 6J. Williams
Dec 14 '06DET 3 at CHI 2M. Samuelsson
Nov 02 '06DET 2 at CHI 1R. Lang
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%

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