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Posted On Sunday, 04.10.2011 / 12:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Red Wings-Blackhawks: A Live Blog

Pregame sets the tone

As soon as the lights went off and the Blackhawks opening video montage, complete with the fantastic stitching of the Blackhawks' logo, started blaring through the arena the crowd stood up and started roaring.

Yeah, this isn't just your average regular season game.

The fans got quiet as they watched the video, as they always do, but when the Hawks came streaming onto the ice one by one with Metalica's "Enter Sandman" blasting through the arena the place absolutely erupted. They went nuts for Corey Crawford and the rest of the Hawks starting lineup, including Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell, Jake Dowell, Fernando Pisani and Byran Bickell.
 
The soldout crowd got louder and louder as anthem singer Jim Cornelison performed the National Anthem in front of the scorer's table.

There are very few venues in North America that get amped up for an anthem like United Center does for a Blackhawks game.

It's time to drop the puck. The crowd is ready. Are the Wings and Hawks?

Let's find out.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.10.2011 / 12:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Red Wings-Blackhawks: A Live Blog

Howard vs. Crawford

As expected, Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is getting the start today opposite Corey Crawford, who will be making his 27th straight start for the Blackhawks.

Howard was victimized three times on six shots in the first 8:45 of Friday's game in Detroit, but he also made some dazzling saves to keep the deficit somewhat manageable.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.10.2011 / 11:59 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Red Wings-Blackhawks: A Live Blog

Feel the buzz

As the building fills up, the big videoboard above center ice is showing the Blackhawks playing their customary soccer game, a new time-honored tradition that goes on outside of nearly every dressing room in the NHL.

Every media member here spent the morning trying to figure out all the possible clinching scenarios for the Blackhawks and where they could wind up playing. I was just in a conversation with two members of the Chicago Tribune and a Blackhawks' PR member discussing the merits of Anaheim, where the Hawks will be headed if they are able to beat the Wings today.

Of course, we were all putting the proverbial cart before the horse. The Red Wings will have their say against the Blackhawks today and could decide who they play in the first round of the playoffs, either Phoenix or Nashville.

If Detroit wins the Predators will be coming to Hockeytown this week. If the Blackhawks win, the Coyotes come to Joe Louis Arena.

Chicago could end up as high as fifth or as low as ninth at the end of the day.

"There are four scenarios," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said this morning. "The fourth one is not a good one. So, let's take care of business."

So much on the line here at United Center this afternoon.

The scoreboard clock reads under 20 minutes now, so the teams should be on the ice for warmups soon. Fans are lining along the glass to try to get a glimpse of their favorite players. There is a buzz.

"Anything can happen," Quenneville added. "We still control our own destiny. We're still trying to get to where we want to get to. We'll know at the end of the day."
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Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season