Blackhawks try to avoid Avalanche sweep on CSN

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Blackhawks try to avoid Avalanche sweep on CSN

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
12:27 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks havent done so well against the Colorado Avalanche this season. Tonight is their last chance to get something out of the matchup.

The Blackhawks, who have won three of four entering tonights game, have lost all three games to Colorado. And their last two games against them werent their prettiest; the Blackhawks were upended 7-5 in a mistake-riddled contest in Colorado on Dec. 13 and fell 4-3 two days later in Chicago.

Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks need to have a better response than they had in previous tilts.

Most frustrating was the last game in that building. And coming home the next game and didnt do anything about it, Quenneville said. This is our last chance. We value these two points so we know we have to be at our best.

The Blackhawks will also have to shut down some of the Avs best, including Matt Duchene and Tomas Fleischmann. Those two have a combined seven goals and six assists against the Blackhawks.

Theyre a tough team to play. At the same time want to make sure our game, Fernando Pisani said. We need to take away their time and space so they dont have the opportunities to make plays.

Briefly

Corey Crawford will start in net for the Blackhawks. The Avalanche will go with Peter Budaj.

Nick Boynton (flu) did not skate this morning.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

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Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

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