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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 5th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (34-10-14) at Anaheim Ducks (40-13-5), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - With his club's recent struggles, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau thinks a visit from the Chicago Blackhawks may be what his team needs to snap it out of this current funk.

Boudreau's theory will be put to the test on Wednesday night when the Ducks host the 'Hawks looking to avoid a third straight loss.

Once unbeatable through 60 minutes at home, Anaheim has gone 1-3-0 on a five- game homestand and has fallen to 22-4-2 as the hosting club this season. The Ducks have lost two straight in regulation at the Honda Center, falling 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday in a game that Anaheim never led.

Mathieu Perreault and Ryan Getzlaf tallied for the Ducks, who were coming off their first shutout loss of the season, a 2-0 setback to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. Frederik Andersen made 29 saves in defeat.

"We knew we were going to hit some patches here and there. It's frustrating with our effort and our start of the game. We're not ready to play. They came out and they played hard. Their goaltender played well early and we just didn't respond. We didn't keep playing the game," Getzlaf said.

Anaheim has lost two in a row for the first time since back-to-back shootout defeats on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, and two straight in regulation since Nov. 12-14. A loss tonight would give the Ducks their longest skid since an 0-3-2 drought from Nov. 12-20.

Though the Ducks still lead the San Jose Sharks by nine points for first place in the Pacific Division, this current hiccup has allowed the Blackhawks to stay within three points of Anaheim for the best record in the NHL.

Chicago can make it just a one-point margin with a regulation win tonight if Anaheim doesn't get things together soon.

"It's probably great that Chicago is coming in. It's a team that if we don't play up to our best level, we're going to get our butts kicked," noted Boudreau after Anaheim's loss on Monday. "It's never good to see Chicago because they're a great team, but it's maybe something we need."

The Blackhawks could use some more victories themselves as Monday's 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings was just their second in the past seven games (2-2-3).

It was an emotional victory for Patrick Kane, who had two goals and an assist just hours after finding out that his grandfather had passed away.

"It was a tough day overall," said a tear-filled Kane afterwards. "He was one of my great friends growing up and it is just a really sad day. It was important to get the win but any time you get someone taken away from you that was so close to you, that means so much, it was tough to hear that right before the game."

Bryan Bickell, Marcus Kruger and Nick Leddy also scored for the Blackhawks, who are 2-0-2 on a seven-game road trip and two points up on St. Louis for first place in the Central Division. Corey Crawford had 31 saves.

The Blackhawks will visit the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, then end their swing versus the New York Rangers on Feb. 27 in their first game back from the Olympic break.

Anaheim visits Nashville on Saturday before going on hiatus for the Winter Games.

The Ducks had won five straight over the Blackhawks following a victory in Chicago on Dec. 6, the first of three meetings this season, but the 'Hawks responded with a home victory on Jan. 17,

Anaheim has won three of four and nine of the last 12 meetings in Orange County.

Crawford is 6-4-1 with a 2.20 goals against average in his career versus the Ducks, while likely Anaheim starter Jonas Hiller has gone 10-5-2 lifetime versus Chicago with a 2.31 GAA.

02/05 10:43:48 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
Final
MIA 103
WAS 105
Final
MEM 97
CHI 103
2nd OT
SAN 110
POR 112
 
4th
DEN 80
LAC 74
 
1st
LAL 22
OKC 17
 
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
Final
MTST 68
CHAT 58
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
Final
MINN 92
SEAT 57
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
Final
SILL 52
NO 56
 
Final
MARQ 83
ALAAM 49
 
Final
TTU 72
ARKPB 51
 
Final
DEN 84
COLST 85
 
Final
CREI 75
TXPA 60
 
Half
CAL 37
EWASH 26
 
Half
UTST 30
IDST 24
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
Final
OTT 6
ANA 2
Final
DET 1
NYI 2
Final
WIN 2
BOS 1
3rd
CAL 1
DAL 2