Avalanche vs. Blackhawks Preview

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CHICAGO, IL (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to rebound after a late-game collapse. They might have star forward Marian Hossa available to help them do so.

The Blackhawks try for a season high-tying third consecutive victory at the United Center when they finish up home-and-home set with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Blackhawks -160 money line favorites for Wednesday's game against the Avalanche. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 67% of more than 215 bets for this game have been placed on the Blackhawks -160.

Chicago led Colorado 5-4 with 2:24 remaining Monday, but Corey Crawford allowed the equalizer to Tomas Fleischmann and gave up a goal to Matt Duchene a minute later. The Avalanche added an empty-netter in a stunning 7-5 victory.

"It was one of those games that got away from you, and you feel like you got kicked in the guts," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Three, four minutes left you have a one-goal lead, whether you deserve it or not we still have to find a way to get something out of the game. That's why it leaves such a bitter taste."

Crawford made 17 saves after replacing Marty Turco 40 seconds into the second period. Turco struggled again in his first action in 10 days, stopping six of 10 shots.

"It's brutal. I don't think anyone wants to lose like that," said Crawford, who was seeking his eighth win in nine games. "Wow. Just fall apart in the last two minutes there."

Crawford is likely to be back in goal against Colorado as his team goes for its fifth win in six home games. He would be trying for his fifth straight victory on home ice after losing his first four starts at the United Center.

The Blackhawks would love to have Hossa in the lineup they go for a split of the home-and-home set, and he could play Wednesday after missing six straight games with a lower-body injury. Hossa has recorded six goals and three assists in his last six meetings with the Avalanche, including one of each during Colorado's 4-3 overtime win in the teams' season opener Oct. 7.

Winger Patrick Kane is unlikely to join him in a return. Out since Dec. 5 with an injured ankle, Kane is expected to miss at least the rest of the week.

Bryan Bickell recorded his third goal in four contests for the Blackhawks (16-13-3) on Monday after scoring four in his first 25 contests.

Chicago has gone 5-1-0 in its last six home matchups with Colorado (16-10-4).

The Avalanche, though, have won three straight, thanks in part to Craig Anderson. The former Blackhawk gave up two goals in each of the first two victories before allowing at least five goals for the second time this season Monday.

"Sweeps everything else under the rug," Anderson said of the victory. "I could be better; I've got to make some first-shot saves. At the same time, our guys did a great job of clawing away to win."

Anderson is 3-0-2 with a 3.01 goals-against average against the Blackhawks. Backup Peter Budaj has gone 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA in four starts at Chicago, allowing one goal in each of the three wins.

Colorado's Milan Hejduk, tied for the team lead with 31 points, was held out for the second night in a row with a groin injury and his status for Wednesday is uncertain.

Paul Stastny did his best to make up for Hejduk's absence, scoring for the third consecutive game and adding two assists to extend his point streak to five games. He has four goals and five assists in that stretch.

Stastny recorded two goals, the second coming in overtime, when the teams met in October.
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