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HOCKEY

Blackhawks seek needed road victory in Detroit

The Blackhawks can't be too happy that the Red Wings got back on track at home in a big way Friday night.

Desperate for another road victory, Chicago tries to extend its overall winning streak to three straight games in a meeting with Detroit.

The Blackhawks snapped a three-game slide with a victory over the visiting Maple Leafs on Wednesday. They made it back-to-back wins thanks to a 2-1 decision at Ottawa on Friday, winning for only the third time in the past 16 road games. Chicago is 13-17-3 as the guest this year compared to 22-7-4 at home.

A pair of former Senators factored into the Blackhawks' win. Marian Hossa had the game-winner and Ray Emery made 25 saves to haunt his former club.

"I thought he was strong and looked big in net," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said of his netminder's performance. "His rebound control was excellent and it was a big win for him."

Bryan Bickell also scored and Patrick Sharp assisted on both goals for Chicago, which played a sixth straight game minus captain Jonathan Toews due to an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion. He did not travel to Ottawa and isn't expected to join the club tonight in Detroit or Tuesday at St. Louis.

"No change. Still progressing, but no change," Quenneville said of Toews on Saturday. "He's not going to be on the trip.

Chicago sits sixth in the West, four points ahead of both San Jose and Dallas as well as six points behind Nashville.

Following a 2-1 setback in Chicago on Feb. 21, Detroit dropped consecutive one-goal games to Vancouver and Colorado on home ice to snap an NHL-record 23- game home winning streak. The Red Wings avoided a fourth defeat in a row overall with last Tuesday's 5-2 win at Columbus and then kept the offense going with Friday night's 6-0 triumph over the visiting Wild.

Valtteri Filppula had two goals and an assist, while Henrik Zetterberg scored and assisted on two others. Jimmy Howard, meanwhile, needed to log just 19 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 11th of his career.

"Right away we started skating well and [we're] able to get pucks in their end and create chances," said Filppula, who opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game and has a career-high 21 goals on the season.

Detroit has won both games it has played without captain Nicklas Lidstrom and the defenseman is expected to miss two more games with a deep bone bruise in his right ankle. Pavel Datsyuk also remains out due to knee surgery, while Todd Bertuzzi left the most recent win with a lower-body injury and is day-to- day.

Detroit, now an outstanding 27-3-2 at home, is one point behind Vancouver for the best record in hockey, but is also tied with St. Louis for first place in the Central Division with 89 points.

The Blackhawks are 2-0-2 versus the Red Wings this year and the final two encounters between the clubs will take place in Detroit. The two division rivals wrap their six-game series on April 7.

Chicago is 6-1-2 in the past nine meetings overall and had won five straight in Detroit before a 3-2 overtime defeat on Jan. 14. Bertuzzi's second goal of the game with 39 seconds left in the extra frame helped the Red Wings match a franchise record at the time with their 14th straight home victory.