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Hawks raise Cup banner before hosting Wings

by David Kalan

RED WINGS (1-0-0) at BLACKHAWKS (0-0-1)

TV -- NHLN-US (HD),FS-Detroit (HD),CSN-Chicago (HD)

Season series -- This is the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Chicago. The Hawks and Wings each won three times last season, with the Wings winning the last meeting, 3-2 on the final day of the season.

Big story -- This is the night generations of Hawks fans have been waiting for. Before the game, the Hawks will raise a banner to the roof of the United Center to celebrate the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 49 years. The hard part figures to be controlling their emotions when puck drops.

Team Scope:

Red Wings -- Detroit was coming off two consecutive conference titles and gunning for a third a season ago before a spate of injuries dropped the Wings to the dregs of the West early. But with many predicting the end of the Wings' streak of 18 straight playoff appearances, the Winged Wheel got healthy and began spinning in a hurry. The Red Wings shot up the Western standings, and settled into the fifth seed by season's end. They bounced the upstart Coyotes in the opening round of the playoffs before losing to San Jose.

The Wings started their season Friday night with a dominating 4-0 victory over Anaheim. Jimmy Howard had 21 saves for the shutout, and new Red Wing Mike Modano scored on his first shot with his new team.

Blackhawks -- After a summer of reshaping the roster that brought the Cup to Chicago, Game 1 of the title defense didn't go as planned. The Blackhawks opened their season with a 4-3 overtime loss at Colorado, despite a 37-save effort by Marty Turco in his first game as a Hawk. The Hawks did show a champions' confidence, as they rallied from a two-goal deficit midway through the second to force the extra period. But a loss, even on the road, was not an ideal beginning to the campaign for the revamped defending champions.

Chicago might seem more comfortable at home. One year ago, they were 29-8-4 record on home ice, and once the banner-raising festivities are done the typically raucous crowd is likely to expect the trend to continue.

Who's hot -- After a strong end to the preseason, Chicago's Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa continued their strong play with two points apiece in Thursday's opener. Detroit got similar production from Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary in its opener on Friday, with each tallying a goal and an assist.

Injury report -- Detroit's Kris Draper is likely to be out after missing Friday's win over Anaheim with a torn groin, as is Justin Abdelkader, who was out of the lineup with a shoulder injury. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson left Friday's game with back spasms. … Chicago will be without defenseman Brian Campbell, who will miss at least a month with a sprained knee.

Stat pack -- The Blackhawks' recent edge at the UC is well documented, but the trip to the Windy City hasn't been so rough for the Wings, who came away with two points in two of their three visits in 2009-10.

Puck drop -- It should be a wild scene as the Hawks raise a Stanley Cup banner for the first time in nearly five decades, but Detroit, with a roster of playoff veterans is unlikely to be fazed. The Red Wings are no stranger to these ceremonies, having held four of their own in the last 13 years.

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