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Blackhawks Cruise toward Winter Classic Matchup with Red Wings



Andrew Ladd started the post Christmas run for the Blackhawks by being in the right place at the right time. Ladd gave the Hawks a quick 1-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers at the United Center on Dec.26 th, and started his team well on their way to continuing the winning streak they had started before the Christmas break. Although he wasn’t awarded an assist on the play, Duncan Keith set up this goal with a long pass that David Bolland directed toward Martin Havlat. Havlat took Bolland’s pass and sped toward the Philly net and ripped a quick wrist shot off the right wing. Ladd jumped on the rebound left by Flyers goalie Martin Biron and hammered home is seventh tally of the season. Ladd’s goal extended his own point streak to seven games.

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The 5-1 victory over Philadelphia gave the Blackhawks their eight straight win, and tied a franchise record which was set in 1971 and 1981. Patrick Sharp with the winner, Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and David Bolland scored the other Chicago goals. Mike Richards scored the lone Flyers goal, his 15 th of the season. Patrick Kane added a pair of assists and extended his point streak to five games.

The Blackhawks who received solid goaltending from Nikolai Khabibulin moved to within five points of Central Division leading Detroit as the Red Wings fell 3-2 to the Predators in Nashville last night. The Blackhawks have the Red Wings in their sights and are looking toward two very important games against Detroit next week. The two teams meet at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Dec. 30, but the big game will be the Winter Classic 2009 on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field in Chicago the home of the National League Chicago Cubs.

It is quite possible that the Winter Classic will mean a great deal, as first place in the Central Division could be riding on this game. The Hawks hope that New Year’s Day will see them overtake the Red Wings and that they will never look back the rest of the season.

The singing of the national anthem at Wrigley Field on January 1 will surely be an event to be remembered for a long time to come, and the Chicago Blackhawks hope that the game itself is memorable as well.


Dan Haugh
ProHockey-fans.com Chicago Blackhawks Correspondent
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