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Hawks gun for another win at Boston

by Brian Compton
BLACKHAWKS (41-26-8) at BRUINS (42-23-10)

TV: Versus, TSN2.

Last 10: Chicago 5-3-2; Boston 4-4-2.

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They haven't faced each other since Jan. 7, 2010, when Chicago earned a 5-2 victory against the Bruins at TD Garden.

Big Story: It was the type of game Marian Hossa enjoyed Monday night that helped justify why the Blackhawks signed the star winger to a 12-year contract in the summer of 2009.

Hossa played more than 23 minutes and helped Chicago earn a much-needed second point in the standings when he beat Joey MacDonald in the opening minute of overtime for a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

"It's always nice to beat one of the top teams in their building, but I don't know if I had extra motivation (against Detroit)," said Hossa, who helped the Red Wings reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2009 before winning a Stanley Cup with Chicago last year. "The motivation is just get to the playoffs and we're in a tight race. That's the main motivation. I think we can be pretty pleased with the overall result."

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: Hossa wasn't the lone contributor for Chicago on Monday night. Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook also scored for the Hawks, who helped rookie goalie Corey Crawford notch an impressive milestone victory – his 30th of the season. Afterwards, coach Joel Quenneville didn't shy away from labeling just how important the win was for his hockey club.

"None bigger all year," Quenneville said. "It was a huge win coming off a very disappointing loss (against Anaheim) the other night. I liked the energy we had from the outset. It was a playoff game for us. Great pace. Great hockey game."

Bruins: Boston appears to be on its way to clinching the Northeast Division. With Sunday's 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, the Bruins -- who have already clinched a playoff berth -- are now seven points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens with seven games remaining. Boston also has a game in hand on the Habs.

"The challenge is going to be to keep our game going in the right direction and not get complacent or comfortable and hopefully head into the playoffs with confidence and a team firing on all cylinders," coach Claude Julien said.

Who's Hot: Toews tallied his 31st goal of the season for Chicago on Monday night. The Blackhawks' captain has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last three games. … Bruins forward David Krejci has 25 points (5 goals, 20 assists) in his last 22 contests, while Nathan Horton has 9 goals and 14 points in his last 18 games. Tomas Kaberle is averaging a point per game over his last five contests, notching a goal and 4 assists during that span.

Injury Report: The Blackhawks are missing Patrick Sharp (knee), Dave Bolland (concussion) and Jordan Hendry (ACL). … Boston will be without Marc Savard (concussion) and Shane Hnidy (shoulder).

Stat Pack: … Chicago enters Tuesday's action with a record of 15-6-4 this month. … Sunday's win at Philadelphia was only the fourth of the season when the Bruins didn't score first.

Puck Drop: "He's been playing great and it's nice to see him get the goal in overtime. Good for him and good for the team to get a win, but overall I think he played a full 60 minutes. He was awesome tonight." -- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane on Marian Hossa after Monday's win

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