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After closing out their longest road trip of the season on a positive note, the Detroit Red Wings return home looking to continue their dominance over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit (27-12-5) should have momentum when facing Chicago, a team it's beat twice this season and is 10-0-1 against in the last 11 meetings. The Red Wings are averaging four goals per game in that span, outscoring the Blackhawks 45-25.
The Red Wings finished 2-3 on their recent trip our West, but won the final two games, including a 5-1 victory over Phoenix on Thursday to snap the Coyotes' seven-game winning streak.
Tomas Holmstrom recorded the second hat trick of his nine-year NHL career and added an assist Thursday. After scoring four goals in his first 31 games, the left-winger has scored eight in his last 10.
The Red Wings scored four third-period goals, including two on the power play by leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk, who also had three assists. Datsyuk has 38 points overall and seven in his last two games.
"We played hard and waited for openings," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We're a veteran team, and we should be a patient team. We stayed under control and played our game."
After allowing 20 goals in the previous four games of the trip, the Red Wings tightened their defense and limited Phoenix to 16 shots.
"The defense did a great job in front me," goaltender Dominik Hasek said. "We skated well, played the puck and we were the better team. We deserved to win."
Detroit continues to make progress with its penalty killing since San Jose scored six goals in nine chances with the man advantage in a 9-4 loss to start the road trip on Jan. 4.,
Phoenix went 1-for-7 on the power play and opponents are 3-for-19 with the extra man against Detroit in the last four games.
Chicago (17-21-5) has struggled on the power play recently, going 2-for-33 while losing six of its last seven games. That's come after the Blackhawks went 9-3-3 after Denis Savard replaced Trent Yawney as coach.
The Blackhawks are looking to snap a four-game losing streak and could have Martin Havlat back on the ice after missing three games with a groin pull. Havlat, who missed 19 games earlier in the season with a sprained ankle, leads the team with 13 goals despite playing only 21 games.
The Blackhawks are 6-12-4 without Havlat in the lineup.
Chicago took 35 shots in a 2-1 loss to Buffalo on Wednesday, but got only a late short-handed goal from Denis Arkhipov.
"We need more traffic in front of the goalie," Savard said. "That's an everyday thing we talk about. You have to play in the tough areas.
"You can't be beside the net. You've got to be right in front of the goalie."
Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, who is tied for the team lead with 17 goals, has scored a goal in each of Detroit's two wins over Chicago this season.
The Red Wings won each by one goal, most recently 3-2 on Dec. 14.
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