Blackhawks eye skid-snapping win vs. league-best Ducks

Blackhawks eye skid-snapping win vs. league-best Ducks
January 17, 2014, 8:30 am
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Nina Falcone

After falling to the Colorado Avalanche in overtime on Tuesday, the Blackhawks return to the United Center tonight to host the Anaheim Ducks. Catch all the action on CSN+, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

Tonight's matchup will feature a battle between the NHL's finest as the Blackhawks and Ducks are set to face off inside the United Center.

The league's best team will face the second-best team; a second-best team the Ducks are very confident they can beat.

"We come in here, we know we can have success, that's already a mental advantage of coming here," goaltender Jonas Hiller told following the Ducks' win over the Blackhawks last month. "I think we knew we'd be playing one of the best teams in the league and we knew we'd have to work hard, and that's what we did. That's why we had success."

Corey Perry added, "I think we kinda know how to play against these guys. We have a lot of great teams in the West, and (the Blackhawks are) one of them."

[MORE: Bryan Bickell doing whatever it takes to regain confidence]

The Ducks have had the Blackhawks' number in recent history — that 3-2 shootout victory on Dec. 6 marked Anaheim's fifth straight win over over the Blackhawks, dating back to the 2011-12 season — but tonight the defending champions will look to turn all of that around.

That will be quite the tall order, however, as the Ducks are heading into tonight's game with plenty of momentum. Just two nights ago they broke a franchise record as they embarrassed the Vancouver Canucks in a 9-1 win, marking their 18th win in 19 games.

A big key for the Blackhawks tonight: stay out of the penalty box. Six of the Ducks' nine goals last night came with a man (or two) advantage.

[RELATED: Blackhawks' second-line chemistry providing results]

Point leaders

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane (23 G, 33 A), Patrick Sharp (25 G, 24 A), Jonathan Toews (17 G, 30 A), Duncan Keith (3 G, 41 A), Marian Hossa (17 G, 22 A)

Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf (23 G, 32 A), Corey Perry (27 G, 26 A), Nick Bonino (15 G, 20 A), Andrew Cogliano (16 G, 13 A), Dustin Penner (11 G, 15 A)

Goaltender matchups

Coach Joel Quenneville announced Thursday that Corey Crawford will get the start in net. This will be the first time he's faced Anaheim this season.

The Ducks have yet to announce their starting goaltender, but it's likely Jonas Hiller will be between the pipes. Hiller has recorded a .914 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average in 32 games played this season. Frederik Andersen was in net during the Ducks' win on Thursday.

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