CHICAGO -- Friday night’s game at the United Center (8:30 p.m.) will be the first of six meetings between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, who find themselves at or near the top of the Western Conference standings.
The Wings come to the Windy City off an exciting 3-2 come-from-behind victory against another Central Division rival, the St. Louis Blues, on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit, however, has just a 9-10-0 record on the road this season and will be facing a team in the Blackhawks that have only dropped one game in regulation at home in the month of December.
That was a tough 2-0 loss at the United Center to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday – a game in which goalies on both teams dominated the highlights. The Hawks’ offense will have to solve another top goalie in Jimmy Howard on Friday night.
The Blackhawks will get gritty forward Daniel Carcillo back from an upper-body injury that kept him out for six games, while rookie center Marcus Kruger will miss a second straight game with an upper-body injury believed to be related to a concussion.
Hawks defenseman Steve Montador missed practices on Tuesday and Thursday, but played against the Kings on Wednesday and hasn’t been ruled out for Friday night’s game against the Wings prior to the morning skate.
The Red Wings will be without two regulars in its lineup, as Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm are both sidelined with groin injuries. They will be replaced by rookie center Gustav Nyquist and rookie forward Joakim Andersson -- a pair of talented Swedish youngsters.
Here’s a look at how both teams may line up on Friday night:
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller-Justin Abdelkader-Danny Cleary
Gustav Nyquist-Cory Emmerton-Joakim Andersson
Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Commodore
Daniel Carcillo - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Viktor Stalberg - Patrick Kane - Patrick Sharp
Bryan Bickell - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Andrew Brunette - Jamal Mayers - Jimmy Hayes
Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Nick Leddy - Nicklas Hjalmarsson
Sean O'Donnell - Steve Montador