Chicago (7-15-3) at Ottawa (13-10-3)

Cloudy Currently: Kanata, ON
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Thu Dec 18, 2003
  • TV: FSCH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Chicago Blackhawks look to snap their longest road losing streak in 15 years when they visit the Ottawa Senators.

Chicago lost 1-0 at Dallas on Friday, and then skated to a 1-1 tie at home with the Stars on Sunday to fall to 1-10-3-3 in its last 17 games overall.

The road defeat to the Stars extended the Blackhawks’ losing streak to nine away from home (0-8-0-1). Chicago hasn’t dropped 10 in a row on the road since losing 12 straight from Nov. 19, 1988-Jan. 12, 1989.

The Blackhawks lost a team-record 16 straight road games in the 1953-54 season.

Chicago is tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for last in the NHL in scoring, averaging 1.87 goals. The Blackhawks have scored just 12 times in their last seven games.

“This league is so tight right now,” Blackhawks defenseman Nathan Dempsey said. “It’s just such a fine line in this league and we’ve just been on the wrong side of it the past couple of weeks.”

Following this contest, Chicago visits one of the best home teams in the NHL when they take on the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

Ottawa lost for just the second time in its last seven games Saturday, falling 3-2 at home to the Boston Bruins. The Senators fell to 1-11 in one-goal games this season.

“The key for us is to find a way to win these tight games,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

“There are a lot of nights we seem to come up just short. It’s so frustrating when you don’t win games like this against a division rival.”

Ottawa could be without forward Vaclav Varada and defenseman Brian Pothier after both suffered injuries in the loss to Boston. Varada had to be helped off the ice by teammates after he hurt his left leg, and Pothier injured his head when he was checked to the ice.

The Blackhawks have won three of the last four meetings with the Senators, including two straight in Ottawa.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 16): Blackhawks - 23 points, 4th place (tied), 19 PB, Central Division. Senators - 32 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Kyle Calder, 10 goals; Steve Sullivan, 12 assists and 17 points; Scott Nichol, 68 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 12 goals; Marian Hossa, 19 assists and 30 points; Chris Neil, 68 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 16): Blackhawks - Power play: 10.5 percent (16 for 152), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.7 percent (133 for 157), 17th. Senators - Power play: 22.5 percent (31 for 138), 3rd. Penalty killing: 86.6 percent (116 for 134), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Michael Leighton (2-8-4, 2.80 GAA); Steve Passmore (0-1-0, 1.02). Senators - Patrick Lalime (10-10-2, 1 SO, 2.23); Martin Prusek (3-3-1, 1, 2.08).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 4, 2002; Blackhawks, 1-0. At Chicago, Eric Daze scored at 7:20 of the second period and Jocelyn Thibault made 28 saves as the Blackhawks stopped Ottawa’s 10-game unbeaten streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 3-11-3-1 on the road; Senators - 6-7-2-2 at home.

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