Blackhawks seek more road success in clash with Ducks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks hope to pick up another victory on their month-ending road trip when they take on the streaking Anaheim Ducks in Friday's battle at Honda Center.
The Blackhawks enter Friday's matinee with a 3-1-0 record on a six-game swing that began Nov. 20 in Calgary and ends tomorrow evening in Los Angeles. All told, Chicago has won four of five and six of its last eight games.
After losing 4-1 in Vancouver on Saturday, the Blackhawks bounced back with Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Colorado. Bryan Bickell broke a tie with 5:17 remaining in the third period and Chicago held on for the victory, which pushed the club over the .500 mark (6-5-0) on the road.
Chicago trailed 1-0, but Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored power-play goals in the second period to give the Blackhawks the lead. Colorado evened the score early in the third, but Bickell would post the game-winner later in the period when he took a pass from Patrick Kane and beat Calvin Pickard from the top of the crease.
"I don't know how (Kane) handled (the puck) while it was bouncing, but a great pass over to me," Bickell said.
Kane collected three assists for Chicago, while Corey Crawford made 27 saves for the win. Crawford is expected to start today and is 7-4-1 with a 2.02 goals against average in his career against Anaheim.
The Ducks, meanwhile, have won three straight on the heels of a three-game skid, posting the club's longest winning streak since a seven-game tear from Oct. 11-24.
Anaheim's two most recent wins came at the start of a three-game homestand, as the Ducks improved to 7-2-3 in Orange County this season.
The Ducks beat their former goaltender on Tuesday night, scoring three times on 29 shots against Calgary's Jonas Hiller, who spent his first seven seasons in Anaheim before signing with the Flames this past offseason. Hiller had beaten the Ducks in a 4-3 shootout decision in Calgary on Nov. 18.
Matt Beleskey tallied a goal and an assist to help Anaheim prevent Hiller from going 2-0 against his old team. Kyle Palmieri and Corey Perry also scored and Frederik Andersen made 32 saves for the Ducks, who have not lost at home against Calgary since Jan. 19, 2004.
"We like to keep things interesting," Palmieri said. "It wasn't pretty, but at the end of the day we got the two points."
Andersen could start today in his first career appearance against the Blackhawks. Backup Jason LaBarbera could get the call tomorrow night when Anaheim visits San Jose.
The Ducks posted a 1-0 win in Chicago on Oct. 28, with John Gibson recording the shutout for Anaheim and Devante Smith-Pelly supplying the only offense with a short-handed tally in the third period.
Anaheim has claimed six of eight in this series overall and the Blackhawks have lost nine of 13 at the Honda Center.