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Morning Skate: Round Three

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Ah, we meet again.

After not playing against each other at all for the first few months of the season, the Blackhawks and Red Wings will square off for the third time sixteen days. Today's game, however, will be the first game played in Detroit. The two previous games saw each team take a victory in Chicago. The Hawks won the first game 3-2 in regulation and the Wings took the second game by the same score but in overtime.

It's an extremely important game for the Wings. A regulation win will put them in a tie with the Hawks with 57 points and the Wings would still have a game in hand. Depending on what the Blues do at home against the Wild, the Wings could jump from third in the Central to first. With the division race so tight, it's even more important to win the games against division foes.

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Second City Hockey is your SBNation Blackhawks' blog.

Puck drop is just after 12:30p ET on NBC.

The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Danny Cleary

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Drew Miller -- Darren Helm -- Jan Mursak

Cory Emmerton -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom

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Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson

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Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

Todd Bertuzzi is a game-time decision with a back/groin injury. If Bert is good to go, expect to see Mursak or Emmerton scracthed.

Injuries: Mike Commodore (foot//ankle) and Patrick Eaves (jaw)

BLACKHAWKS HOW THEY MATCH UP RED WINGS
26-13-5 (57 pts; 2nd in West) Record 27-15-1 (55 pts; 5th in West)
3.18 (4th) Goals Per Game 3.16 (5th)
2.82 (15th) Goals Against Per Game 2.35 (6th)
18.5% (10th) Power Play % 19.1% (8th)
79.0% (26th) Penalty Kill % 81.0% (23rd)
Jonathan Toews (22 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (17 goals)
Marian Hossa (46 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (44 points)

  • The Red Wings are 362-262-84-9 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Blackhawks.
  • Detroit will be going for their 14th straight win at home, which would tie the franchise record.
  • You know what's cooler than 100 wins for Jimmy Howard? 101 wins.
  • In the two games between the two clubs, the Hawks have had nine power plays and two penalty shots compared to three power pays for the Wings.

Prediction: Wings go for 2-3 on the power play and win this one 5-2. Nicklas Lidstrom is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.