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Blackhawks face Jets for second time in five days

by Brian Hunter

JETS (6-8-2) at BLACKHAWKS (9-2-4)


Last 10: Winnipeg 3-5-2; Chicago 6-1-3

Season series: This is the second of four meetings between the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks. It's also the second in five days; the Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals and got 26 saves from Corey Crawford in a 5-1 win against the Jets at MTS Centre on Nov. 2.

Big story: It's back to the grind for the Blackhawks after they spent Monday in Washington getting the traditional White House visit bestowed upon championship teams. The trip, which wasn't just about celebration and included a stop to meet veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, seemed to rejuvenate the players.

"Nothing hurts on me now," defenseman Johnny Oduya said. "If you come here sore, nothing hurts now. Not after seeing what these people have been through and their frame of mind. Look at them. All smiling."

Team Scope:

Jets: Needing to stop the bleeding after dropping three in a row, Winnipeg rallied for a 4-2 win Monday night against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. Michael Frolik scored the game-tying goal late in the second period and set up the go-ahead score by Matt Halischuk early in the third.

Al Montoya, who relieved Ondrej Pavelec in the loss to the Blackhawks on Saturday, received his third start of the season and earned his second victory with a 26-save performance.

"I thought he played like our team," coach Claude Noel said. "He did the right thing at the right time, made the right saves. I thought he had a good night. He has played that way this year, and did it again."

Blackhawks: Home games are at a premium this month for Chicago, which plays eight of nine on the road starting Nov. 16. The Blackhawks have lost once in regulation at United Center, but they've allowed a few points to slip away via overtime and shootout defeats.

That was the case Sunday against the Calgary Flames, as the Blackhawks had trouble solving Reto Berra in his NHL debut. Marian Hossa's power-play goal with 4:19 left in regulation drew them even, but they lost 3-2 on Kris Russell's goal 1:32 into the extra period.

"They do a good job; they bottle it up pretty tight in their own zone," defenseman Brent Seabrook said in The Chicago Tribune. "We got some good chances and (Berra) made some big saves. You have to give him credit."

Who's hot: Bryan Little has three goals in his past four games for the Jets. … Hossa has two goals and four assists during a four-game point streak for the Blackhawks. Duncan Keith has an assist in four straight games.

Injury report: Winnipeg forward Evander Kane (lower body) was scratched. A decision is expected after the pregame warm-up. Forward Jim Slater (undisclosed) and defensemen Jacob Trouba (upper body), Paul Postma (blood clot) and Mark Stuart (hip) are on injured reserve. … Chicago forward Brad Mills (lower body) is day-to-day. Forward Michal Handzus (upper body) and defenseman Michael Kostka (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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