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Ducks go for 7 in a row as they visit Chicago

by John Kreiser

DUCKS (10-7-1) at BLACKHAWKS (8-9-2)


Last 10 -- Anaheim 7-3-0; Blackhawks 3-6-1

Season series -- It's the first of four meetings this season; the teams reconvene in Anaheim on the day after Thanksgiving. The Ducks won three of four last season, splitting two games in Chicago.

Big story -- The Ducks start a road trip by coming to Chicago on a roll, having won six in a row. The Hawks are playing their last home game before their annual November road trip, this one a six-gamer through Western Canada and California. The defending champs, 4-3 shootout losers at Nashville on Saturday, are still trying to get untracked -- they're under .500 and out of the top eight in the West.

Team Scope:

Ducks -- Whatever good feelings the Ducks brought with them to Chicago evaporated when starting goaltender Jonas Hiller had to leave practice after taking a shot to the mask during practice. He was taken to the hospital, received four stitches and will be evaluated Sunday morning.

"It's unfortunate that those things happen," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "I didn't see it actually happen. I was doing something else or I wasn't paying attention to that specific end of the ice."

If Hiller can't play, backup Curtis McElhinney will get the call. He shut out the Islanders 1-0 on Wednesday.

Blackhawks -- As the Hawks get ready for their long trip, they're still struggling to put the pieces together. They led Nashville 3-2 entering the third period on Saturday, but allowed a tying goal by Cody Franson and lost 1-0 in the shootout.

"We still can't give up that third goal," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think there are some positive things and some things we need to talk about. We can't lose momentum."

Who's hot -- Anaheim's Bobby Ryan had 2 goals Friday night and has 7 points in his last five games. Saku Koivu also scored Friday and has 5 goals in five games. … Former first-rounder Jack Skille had the first two-goal game of his career for Chicago in the loss at Nashville.

Injury report -- Aside from Hiller, Ducks have defenseman Andy Sutton (hand) and forwards Joffrey Lupul (back), Jason Jaffray (knee), Dan Sexton (nasal surgery), Matt Beleskey (concussion) and Kyle Chipchura (concussion) on IR. … Chicago center Dave Bolland returned from an upper-body injury on Saturday.

Stat pack -- The Ducks' six-game winning streak is their longest since Feb. 17-March 3, 2008 and is the longest current streak in the NHL. The franchise record is seven, set in February-March 1999.  Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf  has 13 points in his last 12 games against the Blackhawks,

Puck drop -- The big question for the Ducks is the condition of Hiller, who's been superb during the winning streak. The Hawks, who've lost five of six this month, don't want to head out on the road for two weeks with a five-game home losing streak.

"It's the name of the game for us lately," captain Jonathan Toews said. "We just have to stick with it and not get discouraged."

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