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GameThread: Blackhawks vs Red Wings

Less than 24 hours after losing to the Dallas Stars in a shoot out, the Red Wings will have to regroup for an early matinee against the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings are 4-2-1 so far in January. They're starting to get players back from IR (such as Jonathan Ericsson). And, of course, the hot hand of Jimmy Howard, with a sparking 2.16 GAA (fifth best in the NHL).

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks have run away with the Central Division, with a nine-point lead over Nashville. They're currently tied with San Jose for the best record in the league. Patrick Kane is fifth in the NHL with 55 points, while the tandem of Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi are combining to hold opponents to 2.15 goals per game, the best record in the NHL.

Suffice to say, this is an important game for the Red Wings, not just to rinse clean the Saturday game, but because they need to keep playing well to fight their way into the playoffs. NBC has the game today, with a scheduled start time of 12:30 pm ET (inevitably NBC games start between 10 and 15 minutes late). Please feel free to chat away below.