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Hawks go for playoff clincher against Wings

by John Kreiser
RED WINGS (46-25-10) at BLACKHAWKS (44-28-9)

TV -- NBC (HD); TSN (HD)

Last 10 --
Detroit 3-5-2; Chicago 6-3-1

Season series -- It's the sixth and final meeting of the season and the second in less than 48 hours. Detroit won the first game, but the Hawks have taken the next four -- including a 4-2 win at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.

Big story -- The Hawks know what they have to do -- get a point and they'll get a chance to defend their Stanley Cup. A regulation loss opens the door for the Dallas Stars. Detroit is struggling to the finish and will know beforehand whether it can pass San Jose for second in the West.

Team Scope:

Red Wings -- The Wings will go into the playoffs as Central Division champions. But they're not exactly closing with a rush. Friday's 4-2 final score was a lot closer than the actual game -- the Hawks led 4-2 by the midway point of the second period and never sweated the outcome.

"They did what they had to do. We made three big mistakes and the puck was in the back of our net," coach Mike Babcock said. "Their urgency was at a different level than ours. There's no excuse for us. They're playing for their life and we knew that before the game. We thought we were prepared and obviously we weren't. And, if you're not all in and not all committed mentally to what you're doing you're not going to be very successful. Obviously we didn't want to play like that tonight."

-- With the specter of missing the playoffs hanging over them, the Hawks wasted little time putting the Wings away on Friday.

"You could tell in the locker room we were ready and we wanted it," captain Jonathan Toews said. "We were all set to play for each other and get a job done. I think it's going to be the same thing Sunday. Having the pressure we're under now is definitely going to get us ready. We're not looking ahead to anything. We've got another job to do Sunday and we're going to go do it."

Who's hot -- Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook scored the first goal on Friday and has 5 points in four games. Marian Hossa has goals in Chicago's last two games.

Injury report --
Detroit will again be without forward Henrik Zetterberg (lower-body) and defenseman Niklas Kronwall (upper-body). Goalie Chris Osgood is still sidelined after sports hernia surgery. … Chicago is still without center Troy Brouwer (lower body), who missed his second game on Friday, and Dave Bolland, who has missed a month with a concussion.

Stat pack -- Detroit's Johan Franzen electrified the NHL with a five-goal game at Ottawa on Feb. 2. Since then, he's scored only two goals. … The Hawks are 28-16 in games decided by two goals or more, but just 16-21 in games decided by one goal.

Puck drop -- The United Center figures to be rocking, but Toews knows that the Hawks' terrific effort in Detroit won't mean a thing unless they match it on Sunday.

"We're not going to sit on this and say, 'It was a heck of a game, it's been a hell of a season, see you later,'" Toews said. "We're adults. We're pros in here and most of all I think we respect and like each other so we're going to go work hard for each other. We're going to do the same thing on Sunday."

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