5 NHL questions: Blackhawks, Red Wings renew rivalry


A daily feature that asks five questions about the days NHL games. Will they be answered? (And no, that doesn't count as one of the questions.)

1. Can the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks?

Now that they're no longer in the same conference the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks don't play as often as they used to, and their game on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena is their first meeting of the season. Can the slumping Red Wings, losers of 13 of their past 19 games, find a way to beat the best team in the NHL without their starting goaltender? Jimmy Howard will miss the game after re-injuring his left knee this week.

2. Will the Penguins hold the Canadiens to fewer than four goals?

The Penguins' defense is a hot topic in Pittsburgh right now, especially since they've struggled a bit following the recent returns of Kris Letang and Evgeni  Malkin. The Penguins have allowed four or more goals in four of their past six games. Can they hold the Canadiens to less than four?

3. How will the Hurricanes and Flyers handle their makeup date?

Hockey players are creatures of habit and they don't seem to like it when their schedules are thrown off. The Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers had their game on Tuesday snowed out and moved to 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. What sort of game will the fans in attendance be treated to?

4. Will Wayne Simmonds record a point for the Flyers?

Simmonds has been on a roll over the past couple of weeks for the Flyers, riding a four-game point streak into Wednesday's game. Over his past 17 games he has 22 points and has been held without a point just three times over that stretch. Will he find the scoresheet against the Carolina Hurricanes?

5. Can the Coyotes gain some ground in the Western Conference wild card race?

A recent slump has put the Coyotes three points out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. With the two teams they're chasing (Vancouver and Minnesota) off on Wednesday and the Coyotes getting a game against the Flames they have an opportunity to make up some ground. Can they take advantage?

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