GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (11-24-7-5) at Minnesota Wild (16-18-14-0).
TIME: Wednesday, 8 p.m. EST.
The last road win for the Chicago Blackhawks was more than two months and
three goaltenders ago.
Chicago hopes to avoid matching a franchise record with its 16th straight
road loss when it faces the Minnesota Wild for third time this season.
One reason why the Blackhawks are on pace for one of the worst seasons in
team history is their poor road play.
Chicago is 0-14-0-1 away from home since a 2-1 victory at Nashville on Nov.
7. The club record for consecutive road losses is 16, set from Jan. 2-March 21,
The only point the Blackhawks have earned during the current road slide came
in a 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver on Nov. 20.
"Losing is miserable. Now we're past that," Blackhawks defenseman Bryan
Jocelyn Thibault was Chicago's goalie in the win at Nashville, but underwent
hip surgery three days later and hasn't played since. Without their No. 1
goaltender, the Blackhawks have used career backup Steve Passmore and
youngsters Michael Leighton and Craig Anderson in his place. That trio is
5-24-4 this season.
Anderson played well in his first start in more than a month Sunday, but the
Blackhawks lost their third straight, 2-1 to visiting Los Angeles.
Chicago, tied for the worst record in the Western Conference, is 1-5-0-1 in
its last seven and 5-19-4-5 in the last 33 games.
A power play that is 4-for-33 in the last 10 games and among the league's
worst has also contributed to the Blackhawks' woes.
"What's the solution?" right wing Steve Sullivan said. "What are the
options? I can't say what changes should be made. I wouldn't know where to
Minnesota has just two wins in its last 14 games (2-4-8), but one of them
was a 7-4 victory at home against Chicago on Jan. 7.
The Wild were shut out for the fourth time this season on Monday, 2-0 by
Tomas Vokoun and the Nashville Predators.
Backup Manny Fernandez made 28 saves, but saw his personal winless streak
reach seven games (0-2-5).
"It's never fun when you have big games like that and you don't score a
goal," Minnesota forward Pascal Dupuis said. "Manny played great for us
tonight. We've got to score some goals if we want to win."
Right wing Marian Gaborik, a 30-goal scorer each of the last two seasons,
has no goals and three points in his last 12 games.