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Hawks hope to end skid against Wings

by Brian Compton
RED WINGS (25-14-1) at BLACKHAWKS (24-13-4)


Last 10: Detroit 6-4-0; Chicago 5-5-0.

Season Series: This is the second of six meetings between the Central Division rivals. Chicago earned a 3-2 win against Detroit on Dec. 30 at the United Center.

Big Story: Chicago received some good news Saturday as it activated defenseman Steve Montador off injured reserve. The 32-year-old leads all Blackhawks defensemen with 5 goals -- 2 via the power play. He has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) and a plus-1 rating in 38 games this season.

Montador had been out since suffering an upper-body injury against these Wings on Dec. 30 -- a span of three games.

"Monty's probably coming back," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville admitted to reporters Friday. 

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Detroit nearly pulled off a tremendous comeback Saturday night, but just fell short in a 4-3 loss at Toronto. The Red Wings rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but Joffrey Lupul beat Jimmy Howard 7:10 into the third period to put the Leafs back in front. Detroit outshot Toronto by a 40-18 margin in the loss.

"It's so important to get off on a good start on the road. I thought I needed to be a little bit better for the guys," Howard said. "You just take it one shot at a time out there. You try to make saves for the guys to try to get give them a chance to get back into it. I thought we did a great job at the start of the second making a game of it."

Blackhawks: Chicago will be looking to right the ship Sunday after suffering a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at the United Center. The Blackhawks have lost three straight to match a season high for consecutive defeats. They've also dropped four of their last five following a 9-1-1 run and are just 1-for-23 on the power play in their last eight contests.

"Tonight we didn't deserve anything," Quenneville said after the loss. "We got what we deserved. I know we didn't give up a lot of chances, but look at what we generated. We didn't generate enough."

Who's Hot: Wings center Pavel Datsyuk had a pair of assists Saturday night to give him 4 in the last three contests, while Johan Franzen has 2 goals and 2 assists over the same stretch. … Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last four games.

Injury Report: Detroit is expected to be without Darren Helm (groin), Tomas Holmstrom (groin), and Patrick Eaves (jaw). … Marcus Kruger (concussion) is out for Chicago, along with Daniel Carcillo (knee, suspension).

Stat Pack: With Saturday's loss, Howard remains stuck on 99 career victories. … Toews has taken 825 faceoffs this season. He's won 60.8 percent of those draws, tops in the League.

Puck Drop: "That was un-Red Wing-like. You can't win every night in the League playing like that." -- Detroit coach Mike Babcock after Saturday's 4-3 loss at Toronto
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