Chicago (11-22-5) at Detroit (26-13-2)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Wed Jan 14, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Red Wings are winning so often that two straight losses should be considered a slump.

The Red Wings try to avoid losing three in a row for only the second time this season when they take on the struggling Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit had won four straight before losing back-to-back games to the Boston Bruins. The Red Wings scored 19 goals during the win streak but have managed just one in the two defeats, falling 3-0 at home last Wednesday before Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Boston.

The consecutive losses are the first for the Wings since a season-high three-game slide from Oct. 25-30. They still lead the league with 26 victories.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead into the third period Saturday before Pavel Datsyuk was ejected with a game misconduct, allowing the Bruins to score the equalizer on the power play.

Boston’s Joe Thornton beat Curtis Joseph with 2:20 left in overtime to hand Detroit just its second defeat in 11 overtime games this season.

“With a five-minute major, you can really get yourself in a lot of trouble,” Detroit coach Dave Lewis said. “We lose our best player for 18 minutes and they have a five-minute penalty and they get the goal.”

Datsyuk, the team’s top scorer, was held without a point for a season-high fourth straight game.

Joseph stopped 33 shots for Detroit in his third straight start. He’ll likely be in net again with Dominik Hasek still sidelined by a groin injury. Joseph is 8-4-1 with a 1.90 goals-against average and .924 save percentage since being called up from the minors on Dec. 10.

While Joseph has provided a steadying influence in net, the Blackhawks desperately need one. They have surrendered 24 goals in losing four of five, including Monday’s 7-4 defeat to the St. Louis Blues.

Chicago goaltender Michael Leighton got the hook 5:59 into the second period in favor of Steve Passmore after giving up four goals on 16 shots. Passmore also faced 16 shots and gave up two scores.

The Blackhawks are two away from matching the longest road losing streak in team history at 16 games. They are 0-13-0-1 away from home since winning 2-1 at Nashville on Nov. 7.

“I don’t care where we’re playing,” Passmore said. “We’re trying to climb the ladder in the standings and we need wins. Where we play doesn’t matter. We don’t think about that. You guys do.”

STANDINGS (through Jan. 12): Blackhawks - 34 points, 4th place, 24 PB, Central Division. Red Wings - 58 points, 1st place, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Mark Bell and Kyle Calder, 12 goals; Steve Sullivan, 21 assists and 28 points; Scott Nichol, 89 PIM. Red Wings - Datsyuk, 21 goals and 45 points; Brett Hull, 25 assists; Brendan Shanahan, 78 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 12): Blackhawks - Power play: 10.8 percent (21 for 194), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (165 for 194), 13th. Red Wings - Power play: 20 percent (37 for 185), 6th. Penalty killing: 86.4 percent (152 for 176), 6th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Leighton (5-13-5, 2 SO, 2.97 GAA); Passmore (1-5-0, 0, 2.19). Red Wings - Joseph (10-7-1, 2, 2.19); Manny Legace (8-5-1, 1, 2.21).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-2.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 28; Blackhawks, 3-0. At Chicago, Leighton made 20 saves for his second shutout in three games to give the Blackhawks just their third win in 23 games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 3-16-3-1 on the road; Red Wings - 17-4-1-0 at home.

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