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Red Wings Head To Chicago To Renew Rivalry With Blackhawks

(Sports Network) - At this point in his career, there may actually be nothing left that talented Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom hasn't already accomplished.

His mission tonight will be trying to lead Detroit to a fourth straight victory over the hobbled Chicago Blackhawks in a clash at the United Center.

Lidstrom's NHL career certainly contains a list of checked-off accomplishments that should land the 40-year-old Swede in the Hall of Fame: six Norris Trophies, four Stanley Cup championships and a Conn Smyth Trophy over 1,442 games.

One thing that had eluded the defenseman was a three-goal game, a feat he finally pulled off in Wednesday's 5-2 victory over the Blues when he potted his third tally of the game into an empty net with 30 seconds to play.

"It's a great feeling to finally get one. After 19 years and having a lot of opportunities, it's nice to get some bounces," said Lidstrom, who had 19 career two-goal games coming in.

Dan Cleary had a goal and two assists, Niklas Kronwall also scored and Henrik Zetterberg ended with four assists for the Red Wings, who have won three of four since a three-game skid. Jimmy Howard ended with 19 saves.

Detroit has won four of its last five on the road and is 8-3-1 as the guest this season. That includes a 3-2 victory in Chicago on Oct. 9 as the Red Wings spoiled the raising of the Blackhawks' championship banner. It marked Detroit's third straight victory in this series and ninth in the last 14 meetings overall.

The Red Wings have also won three straight and five of their last seven in Chicago.

Howard did not get the start in the last meeting, with Chris Osgood making 26 saves. Howard is likely to get the start tonight though and is 2-1-1 with a 2.91 goals-against average versus Chicago.

That loss at the United Center to the Red Wings was the first of nine in regulation (8-9-0) so far this year at home for the Blackhawks. On the way to snapping Detroit's string of eight straight Central Division titles last year, Chicago went 29-8-4 at home.

The 'Hawks picked up that ninth home loss on Wednesday in the opener of a five-game homestand, a 4-3 setback to the Avalanche that gave Colorado a sweep of the home-and-home set after its 7-5 victory in Denver on Monday.

Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer tallied for the Blackhawks, who have lost a season high-tying three in a row. Corey Crawford surrendered four goals on just 23 shots to suffer his third straight loss after seven straight wins.

"This one left us frustrated," Crawford said. "We want to win every game that's what we're out there to do. Obviously it's frustrating when you lose."

There has been a possibility of Patrick Kane returning to the lineup tonight after he practiced on Wednesday. Kane missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle injury, but also suffered a setback on Thursday and is now doubtful for tonight.

When Kane, who has 11 goals and 16 assists this season, suffered his injury on Dec. 5, he was expected to miss up to three weeks of action.

Marian Hossa is also expected to miss his eighth game in a row due to a lower- body injury, while Viktor Stalberg won't play tonight after suffering an upper-body injury versus the Avalanche.

However, Fernando Pisani could return after missing the last eight games with an upper-body injury of his own.

Crawford will start tonight for Chicago and stopped 44-of-46 shots faced in a losing effort in his only other career start versus Detroit on March 11, 2008.