Blackhawks Defeat Red Wings In Matinee Showdown, 4-1

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Blackhawks' Corey Crawford Makes 36 Saves, Tomas Kopecky Scores Twice In Victory Over Detroit

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Corey Crawford stopped 36 shots as Chicago took down Detroit, 4-1, in an Original Six battle at Joe Louis Arena.

Tomas Kopecky scored twice while Troy Brouwer and Dave Bolland each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won five of their last six games.

Cory Emmerton had a goal in his first NHL game while Jimmy Howard was tagged for all four goals on 33 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost four of six.

Detroit received some bad news prior to the game as goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Red Wings had signed him to a contract on Friday, but he had to clear waivers.

Detroit was looking for some help in net since Chris Osgood had surgery last week and will be out till early March, while Howard returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing two games with a bruised right knee.

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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Detroit Red Wings: Rivalry Renewed

If the Blackhawks are going to be serious about defending their Stanley Cup title, they're probably going to have to win the Central division and that means overtaking the Detroit Red Wings, who currently lead the division.

The good news for the Blackhawks is that there doesn't seem to be a dominant team in the NHL this year. Although the Wings lead the Central, they are only 10 points -- essentially five games -- ahead of the Hawks, who can make a statement this afternoon by winning in Detroit. The two teams have split their two games so far this year; this is the first game between the teams in Detroit.

This would be a good time for the Blackhawks to take advantage of the Red Wings' long list of injured players: Pavel Datsyuk (hand), Mike Modano (wrist) and Danny Cleary (ankle), Tomas Holmstrom (hand), Brad Stuart (jaw) and goalie Chris Osgood (hernia surgery) are all out. The Blackhawks may be missing Nick Boynton today -- he's got the mysterious "flu-like symptoms", which could apply to just about anything.

Meanwhile, the Hawks' week off has let other teams catch up to them in games played -- instead of having the most games played in the Western Conference, the Hawks are now tied for fewest games played with 47. A win today puts them in a tie for sixth place in the conference.

Corey Crawford gets the start in goal this afternoon. The game begins at 1 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only).

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