Blackhawks try to get back on track in Ottawa

( – The Chicago Blackhawks have hit a rough patch early in
the season, but they hope their recent success against the Ottawa Senators can
get them back in the win column.

The Blackhawks will try to avoid losing for the fourth time in five games when
they visit the Senators for Thursday’s clash at Canadian Tire Centre.

Chicago has lost three of its last four games, but the one win during that
stretch came Sunday against a visiting Ottawa club. The Blackhawks posted a
2-1 victory behind a stellar NHL debut from goaltender Scott Darling, who
stopped 32-of-33 shots.

It was the fourth win for Chicago in its last five meetings against the Sens,
who only have two wins over the past nine encounters. Ottawa has won two of
the last three matchups on its home ice.

Darling played well again for the Blackhawks on Tuesday, stopping 24 shots in
a 1-0 home loss against the Anaheim Ducks. Chicago fired 38 shots on net
without a scoring a goal on Ducks goaltender John Gibson. Although it marked
the first time Chicago was shut out this season, the Blackhawks were held to
two goals or less for the fourth straight game.

Chicago failed to score on three chances with the man advantage Tuesday, and
Anaheim’s goal came short-handed in the third period.

“It’s never fun to get shut out at home but we’ll move past this one … and
try and have that breakthrough we’re looking for offensively,” said Chicago
captain Jonathan Toews.

While goaltending has not been a problem for the ‘Hawks lately, the club could
get a boost tonight from the possible return of No. 1 netminder Corey
Crawford. The 29-year-old Crawford has missed the last five games with an
upper-body injury, but he practiced Wednesday and could see his first action
since Oct. 18 against Nashville.

Crawford is 2-0 with a 1.91 goals against average in two career games against
the Senators.

Ottawa will try to record a second straight win after halting a two-game slide
with Tuesday’s 5-2 road victory at Columbus. Clarke MacArthur scored two goals
and assisted on another to help the Sens record their fifth win in eight games
to begin the season.

Erik Karlsson netted the eventual game-winner early in the third period for
Ottawa, which scored three unanswered goals in the third period to cruise to
the win.

“It’s definitely nice to win this one when we played the way we did. We stuck
to it, executed when we had to and stepped up when we needed to step up,” said

Zack Smith and Alex Chiasson also lit that lamp to complement a solid 36-save
effort from Robin Lehner.

Craig Anderson is expected to start tonight in net for Ottawa. Anderson, a
former Blackhawk goaltender, is 5-2-2 with a 3.24 GAA in nine career games
against his old club.