Avalanche-Blackhawks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 06, 2013
The Chicago Blackhawks are on the verge of becoming the second team in NHL history to go 30 straight games without losing in regulation. A visit from the Colorado Avalanche seems to be a superb chance to keep that string going. The Blackhawks look to continue their dazzling run by capitalizing on a meeting with the sputtering Avalanche on Wednesday night. Chicago (20-0-3) is by far the best team in the NHL, and it hasn't lost a game in regulation since a 6-1 home defeat to Nashville on March 25. The Blackhawks have managed at least one point in 29 games since, going 23-0-6. The only other team in league history with a longer streak was the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers at 35 games before eventually reaching the Stanley Cup finals. "It's a great time right now," right wing Marian Hossa said. "Everybody is hungry. We have a strong lineup and the guys are playing well." Hossa helped extend the Blackhawks' streak Tuesday, scoring the last of four straight goals in a 5:43 span of the opening period en route to a 5-3 win over Minnesota. "It doesn't feel like we're on a streak," said left wing Bryan Bickell, who scored twice in the first-period barrage as Chicago also set a team record with a 10th win in a row. "We're just business, come to the rink and we're going to do what we need to do." The Blackhawks overturned a 1-0 deficit for the sixth time in eight games and are 10-0-3 when allowing the first goal. Patrick Kane continues to be a force for the Blackhawks, leading the team with 12 goals and 27 points. The right wing has one goal in each of the last two games, and netted the decisive shootout attempt in Sunday's 2-1 victory at Detroit. Kane had one goal while Chicago went 1-2-1 against Colorado (8-9-4) last season, losing each of the last three. The Avalanche, though, are among the worst road teams in the league at 2-7-3, and they're 1-2-3 in their last six games overall. They've dropped six in a row (0-3-3) as the visitor for their longest such slide since losing nine straight (0-8-1) from Oct. 26-Dec. 15, 2011. Colorado is trying to conclude this three-game road trip in positive fashion after falling 2-1 to Detroit on Tuesday, finishing with 37 shots, and not scoring until there were 90 seconds left in the game. "The difference was really a couple of bounces for them and one hot goalie for them," Jean-Sebastien Giguere said after making 31 saves against the Red Wings. P.A. Parenteau's nine goals leads the Avs, while his 19 points are tied with Matt Duchene for the team lead. The right wing has four points in three games, but has only found the net twice in the past 11. He has one goal and two assists in the past two meetings with Chicago, but those came with the New York Islanders. Paul Stastny, who scored Tuesday, has 12 points in his past nine games versus the Blackhawks, including five in the last three. Gabriel Landeskog had three goals and one assist against them last season.
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