After shutting out the Red Wings on Sunday night, the Blackhawks get another crack at their hated Original Six rival on Wednesday. There will be a couple changes this time around, though.
Antti Niemi will be in goal for the Blackhawks this time, and Jason Howard will be in net for the Red Wings. Niemi has been superb this season in relief of Cristobal Huet, and will likely be called upon over the weekend when the Hawks have a home-and-home back-to-back series with the second place Nashville Predators. Howard was a question mark coming into the season for Detroit, as they were looking for a rookie to replace Ty Conklin in their goalie rotation, but he’s been solid for them throughout the season.
Both Cam Barker and Ben Eager are expected to miss another game. Barker is dealing with a knee issue and will miss his third game, as will Eager who reportedly has been dealing with concussion-like headaches this week. Bryan Bickell is expected to play in Eager’s place again, and Jordan Hendry will continue to assume Barker’s role with Brent Sopel on the third line of defense.
UPDATE: Brian Rafalski was a late scratch for Detroit, making the injury count nine for the Red Wings this evening.