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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (29-8-9) at Montreal Canadiens (25-15-5), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season on Saturday, as the defending Stanley Cup champions visit the Montreal Canadiens for an Original Six clash at the Bell Centre.

The Blackhawks have lost their last two outings and both setbacks came on home ice. Chicago dropped a 3-2 shootout decision against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday before losing by the same score in regulation in Wednesday's tilt against the New York Rangers.

Chicago has lost three in a row on one occasion this season, going 0-2-1 from Dec. 3-5.

The Blackhawks overcame an early 2-0 deficit against the Rangers to even the score by the end of the second period. However, New York scored the lone goal of the third stanza, as Carl Hagelin tallied with 5:57 left to lead the Blueshirts to victory.

The regulation loss snapped Chicago's 10-game point streak (6-0-4) and dropped the Blackhawks to 1-1-2 so far in January. Jonathan Toews and Brandon Bollig scored for Chicago, while Corey Crawford made 29 saves in a losing cause.

"I think early in the game we didn't have that pace we were looking for," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville remarked. "It took us a while to get going."

The Blackhawks are on the road for just one game before heading back to the Windy City on Sunday to face Edmonton at the start of a four-game homestand.

Montreal, meanwhile, has lost two of three and four of its last six games. The Canadiens dropped a 3-1 decision Wednesday in Philadelphia, giving the Habs seven straight regular-season losses in the City of Brotherly Love.

"We got out to another slow start like we did the first time around here," said Canadiens captain Brian Gionta when asked if his club had some kind of mental block in Philly. "We've got to find a way to get into our comfort level earlier and we just didn't find that right away."

Tomas Plekanec posted the lone offense for Montreal on Wednesday and Peter Budaj made 24 saves in the loss.

The Habs hope to get back in the win column tonight when they begin a two-game homestand. Montreal, which is 13-7-3 as the host this season, also hosts the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Saturday's tilt marks the first meeting between the Blackhawks and Canadiens since Dec. 21, 2011, when Chicago recorded a 5-1 home win. The Blackhawks have claimed two of three in this series overall, but Montreal has won five in a row and 12 of the past 15 encounters as the host.

01/11 10:30:18 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
WIN 3
CAR 1
Final
KAN 1
SFG 7
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
 
Final
MIA 90
HOU 85
Final
MIN 107
IND 89
Final
OKC 91
UTA 105
Final
DEN 75
POR 93
Final
LAL 108
PHO 114
Final
GSW 125
LAC 107
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CLE
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
ATL
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
POR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
PHO
 
Final
LALAF 55
ARKST 40
Final
NJD 3
NYR 4
Final
BOS 5
SJS 3
Final
NYI 2
TOR 5
Final
MON 2
DET 1
Final
NAS 4
ARI 3
Final
WIN 3
CAR 1
Final
CHI 4
PHI 0
Final
DAL 6
VAN 3
Final
COL 3
FLA 4
Final
CAL 1
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PIT
PHI
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
ANA
BUF