Blackhawks at Red Wings
The Chicago Blackhawks take to the road in an attempt to halt their slide and get back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference as they begin a four-game trek Thursday against the Original Six-rival Detroit Red Wings. Chicago dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Toronto on Wednesday to conclude a 1-4-1 homestand with its fourth straight loss (0-3-1).
Nick Schmaltz recorded a goal and an assist in the setback, giving the Blackhawks six players with 13 or more tallies and helping them climb within six points of the second wild-card spot in the West. Detroit is looking to halt a home losing streak that reached four games (0-3-1) with Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime setback against Philadelphia. Petr Mrazek made his second start in two days but was unable to post his third straight shutout as his career-best scoreless streak ended at 145 minutes, 5 seconds. The first of the netminder’s blankings came on Jan. 14, when he made 27 saves in a 4-0 triumph at Chicago.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, NBCS Chicago
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (22-19-7): Patrick Kane notched an assist against the Maple Leafs, drawing within four of 500 for his career. It was the 801st point for the 29-year-old right wing, who leads Chicago with 49 but has been kept off the scoresheet in six of his last nine games. Artem Anisimov also moved closer to a milestone on Wednesday, setting up a goal for his 298th career point.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (19-20-8): Luke Glendening made an impact in his return to the lineup Tuesday, recording a pair of assists and a plus-2 rating over 13 minutes, 25 seconds of ice time in the loss. The 28-year-old forward, who has notched seven goals and 12 points in 35 games this season, missed 12 contests with a wrist injury. Detroit could get back another player Thursday in Justin Abdelkader, who has sat out five games with a groin injury but was mentioned as a “possibility” to return by coach Jeff Blashill.
1. Red Wings C Frans Nielsen scored a goal against Philadelphia, ending his eight-game point drought.
2. Chicago converted two of its four power-play opportunities against Toronto after going 0-for-16 over its previous five contests.
3. Detroit recalled C Dominic Turgeon from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League and assigned veteran LW David Booth to the Griffins.