(SportsNetwork.com) – Marian Hossa is on an impressive goal-scoring run, but
it hasn’t translated into as many wins as the Chicago Blackhawks would have
Hossa and the Blackhawks try to avoid a third straight setback on Friday night
when they host the New Jersey Devils.
The 36-year-old Hossa has posted three straight two-goal games, upping his
season total to 16 goals, but Chicago has won just once in that span.
The Blackhawks picked up a big win over the St. Louis Blues in the first game
of Hossa’s streak, but then kicked off an eight-game homestand with post-
regulation setbacks to Arizona and Vancouver. They lost in a shootout to the
Coyotes on Monday, then fell 5-4 in overtime to the Canucks on Wednesday.
Brandon Saad and Hossa scored in the final 2:11 of regulation to force
overtime, while Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, giving him an NHL-
best 62 points on the season. Corey Crawford ended with 31 saves.
“It’s nice to get the one point,” Hossa said. “But I guess we didn’t deserve
it the way we played the whole (game).”
The Blackhawks sit third in the Central Division, four points ahead of
Winnipeg and six points back of second-place St. Louis.
The Devils, who are 12 points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern
Conference, have lost two straight following a three-game win streak and have
been idle since Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Patrik Elias recorded the sole marker for the Devils, while Cory Schneider
halted 22 pucks in defeat.
“I thought we could’ve competed a little more than we did,” said Devils
interim head coach Lou Lamoriello.
Schneider made his league high-tying 46th start and may play both games this
weekend as the Devils visit Nashville on Saturday before opening a six-game
homestand on Tuesday.
Schneider is 2-2-1 with a 3.44 goals against average and .901 save percentage
in six career games versus the Blackhawks, including five starts.
Backup Keith Kinkaid made his first career start in a 3-2 shootout loss to the
Blackhawks on Dec. 9, making 37 saves.
Kane and Jonathan Toews both scored in the shootout for the Blackhawks, who
have won three straight and six of their past eight versus the Devils.
Crawford did not start against the Devils in that recent meeting and stopped
21-of-22 shots faced in a loss the only time he has gone up against them.
The 38-year-old Elias is expected to play in his 1,200th career game tonight
and all of those have come with the Devils since they selected him in the
second round of the 1994 draft. Elias has surpassed 400 goals (401), 600
assists (605) and 1,000 points (1,006) this season.