Red Wings, Blackhawks faceoff on NBC

Detroit, Chicago compete for 1st place in Central Division

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DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will meet Saturday afternoon for the third time since Dec. 30.

The Blackhawks (26-13-5) took the first meeting 3-2 at the United Center and the Red Wings (27-15-1) grabbed the second meeting 3-2 on Sunday, also in Chicago.

The Original Six rivals have been jockeying for first place in the Central Division for the majority of the season. The St. Louis Blues have joined the race, too. The Blues have edged one point ahead of Detroit and sit just one point behind Chicago.

The Red Wings have won 13-straight games at Joe Louis Arena. Fourteen-straight wins at home would match a franchise record set in the 1964-65 season. Their latest success at home came on Thursday when they topped the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout.

Henrik Zetterberg's go-ahead goal in the shootout was one for the highlight reels. He left Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith handcuffed and dazed as he strung the puck out on his backhand to slip it past Smith on the far side.

The Wings would be ahead of both the Blackhawks and Blues if not for an 11-13-0 road record.

Chicago is enjoying a two-game winning streak. They topped the surging Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Thursday to stay ahead of the Blues and Red Wings.

Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi will be a game-time decision as he suffers from a back/groin injury. Patrick Eaves remains on Detroit's injured reserve list with a fractured jaw.

Former Red Wings forward Marian Hossa has at least one point in 31 of 44 games with Chicago.

Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup Thursday night. The team's leading points-getter and specialty two-way player is vital to Detroit's offense and defense.

Game time is 12:30 p.m. on Local 4.

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