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Mighty Blackhawks face Ducks in return to Chicago

11:23 AM, Feb 12, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks emerged from their road-heavy start to the season without a regulation loss. The NHL point leaders now get to settle in for a lengthy homestand that begins on Tuesday evening against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Blackhawks played 10 of their first 12 on the road and began the season by winning their first six games, a span that included their only two home games so far this season. Chicago then began a six-game swing with shootout losses in Minnesota and Vancouver, but rebounded to win the final four games of the trek.

The trip was capped with an exclamation point on Sunday, a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators. Corey Crawford made 17 saves for his sixth career shutout and Patrick Kane scored a goal for a fifth game in a row.

Kane has tallied seven goals in that span and has 10 points over a six-game point streak. Jonathan Toews added his 150th career goal, while Marcus Kruger also scored as the 'Hawks upped their league-leading point total to 22.

"It was a great trip from start to finish," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "The last couple of games were our best. Tonight, I was really pleased with the way we started and finished the game and everybody contributed again."

The Blackhawks won't play another road game until Feb. 28 in San Jose, but Quenneville doesn't want his team to look any different on home ice than it did during the road trip.

"We don't want to change anything," Quenneville said. "We don't want to feel like we're at home now, we can let the air out or we want to be cute. We want to play the same way. We like the contributions across the board and let's get excited with the building and the noise and our fans."

Chicago will get a good test to begin the residency as it faces an Anaheim club that has won five of its last six and is 8-2-1 on the season.

The Ducks have taken two of three so far on a six-game road trip and outlasted the St. Louis Blues 6-5 in a shootout on Saturday.

Four Anaheim skaters scored in the breakaway frame and Viktor Fasth made 26 saves through overtime before stopping 3-of-6 in the shootout. Nick Bonino was credited with the shootout winner, while Teemu Selanne had a goal and three assists.

Bobby Ryan also had four points off two goals and two assists as Anaheim bounced back from Friday's loss in Dallas, but had to overcome a 3-1 first- period deficit in St. Louis to do so.

Anaheim has given up 16 goals in the first period this season

"We talked about not to be sluggish in the first period, but I don't know what happened," said Selanne. "But in the second and third we were moving our legs and forechecking and we got some momentum."

Fasth became the second netminder in Ducks history to win each of his first five starts. He did not get a decision in relieving Jonas Hiller on Friday after Hiller exited with a lower body injury. Jeff Deslauriers was recalled from the minors to back up Fasth on Saturday.

The Blackhawks won three of four against the Ducks last season and have taken seven of the last nine encounters in Chicago.

The Sports Network

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