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[Game Thread] Red Wings vs. Blackhawks Game 3

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The Red Wings and Blackhawks take the 284 mile drive to the United Center for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

With Detroit up 2-0 in the series, the Blackhawks need to stop the onslaught of the Red Wings. But the bigger question: when will the Chicago defense show up to help Nickolai Khabibulin? The Red Wings have been firing at him all series seemingly at will.

That being said, this series could just as easily be 2-0 Blackhawks. Chicago obviously had a chance at the Red Wings in Game 2, taking them to overtime, and despite the three-goal margin of victory in Game 1, the Blackhawks had Detroit relatively close through the first two periods, letting the game get away from them in the third.

Some things to watch in Game 3:

* Will either team's stars show up? Patrick Kane has no points on three shots. Marian Hossa has no points on seven shots. Pavel Datsuyk has one assist. Sure, it's nice to be able to get some help from the lower lines, but how long can either team keep this up?

* Can Detroit cut down on giveaways? They've had 24 through two games of this series, and they've been lucky to only give up one goal directly off them. You can't keep turning the puck over and assuming you can play your way out of that.

* How much does home ice help Chicago? They're 5-1 in the playoffs at home, in front of 22,600 screaming fans who have been waiting 14 years for a third-round home game. They have to be geared up for this. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are no strangers to playing in front of hostile territory.

* Finally, will Martin Havlat announce his presence with authority? The Blackhawks playoff scoring leader only has an assist. He needs to be lighting the lamp to show the way for the rest of this team.

Scheduled start time is 8:00 PM ET. Versus will carry the game in the U.S., while CBC takes over in Canada. We'll see you back here then.