The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to rebound after a late-game
collapse. They might have star forward Marian Hossa available to
help them do so.
The Blackhawks try for a season high-tying third consecutive
victory at the United Center when they finish a home-and-home set
with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Chicago led Colorado 5-4 with 2:24 remaining Monday, but Corey
Crawford allowed the equalizer to Tomas Fleischmann and gave up a
goal to Matt Duchene a minute later. The Avalanche added an
empty-netter in a stunning 7-5 victory.
“It was one of those games that got away from you, and you feel
like you got kicked in the guts,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
said. “Three, four minutes left you have a one-goal lead, whether
you deserve it or not we still have to find a way to get something
out of the game. That’s why it leaves such a bitter taste.”
Crawford made 17 saves after replacing Marty Turco 40 seconds
into the second period. Turco struggled again in his first action
in 10 days, stopping six of 10 shots.
“It’s brutal. I don’t think anyone wants to lose like that,”
said Crawford, who was seeking his eighth win in nine games. “Wow.
Just fall apart in the last two minutes there.”
Crawford is likely to be back in goal against Colorado as his
team goes for its fifth win in six home games. He would be trying
for his fifth straight victory on home ice after losing his first
four starts at the United Center.
The Blackhawks would love to have Hossa in the lineup they go
for a split of the home-and-home set, and he could play Wednesday
after missing six straight games with a lower-body injury. Hossa
has recorded six goals and three assists in his last six meetings
with the Avalanche, including one of each during Colorado’s 4-3
overtime win in the teams’ season opener Oct. 7.
Winger Patrick Kane is unlikely to join him in a return. Out
since Dec. 5 with an injured ankle, Kane is expected to miss at
least the rest of the week.
Bryan Bickell recorded his third goal in four contests for the
Blackhawks (16-13-3) on Monday after scoring four in his first 25
Chicago has gone 5-1-0 in its last six home matchups with
The Avalanche, though, have won three straight, thanks in part
to Craig Anderson. The former Blackhawk gave up two goals in each
of the first two victories before allowing at least five goals for
the second time this season Monday.
“Sweeps everything else under the rug,” Anderson said of the
victory. “I could be better; I’ve got to make some first-shot
saves. At the same time, our guys did a great job of clawing away
Anderson is 3-0-2 with a 3.01 goals-against average against the
Blackhawks. Backup Peter Budaj has gone 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA in
four starts at Chicago, allowing one goal in each of the three
Colorado’s Milan Hejduk, tied for the team lead with 31 points,
was held out for the second night in a row with a groin injury and
his status for Wednesday is uncertain.
Paul Stastny did his best to make up for Hejduk’s absence,
scoring for the third consecutive game and adding two assists to
extend his point streak to five games. He has four goals and five
assists in that stretch.
Stastny recorded two goals, the second coming in overtime, when
the teams met in October.