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Crawford could get call again tonight
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/12/2008 12:13 AM

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DETROIT -- Blackhawks coach Denis Savard told rookie goalie Corey Crawford on Monday that he would be starting against the Red Wings on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Savard had planned to use Crawford tonight against Carolina at the United Center but changed his mind after Patrick Lalime's shaky effort in Sunday's 6-5 loss to Edmonton.

Crawford was nothing short of brilliant in the Hawks' 3-1 loss to the Red Wings, stopping 44 of 46 shots.

"He deserves to play," Savard said. "I know he's good."

Crawford was the only reason the Hawks weren't blown out of Joe Louis Arena on a night they weren't at their best.

"Tough one," Crawford said. "They move it around pretty good. I just tried not to get out too far and give myself a chance."

There's a good chance Savard will come back with Crawford tonight against the Hurricanes.

Ladd vs. Ruutu: The winner of the deadline-day trade that saw the Hawks acquire Andrew Ladd from Carolina in exchange for Tuomo Ruutu probably won't be known for a year or more.

The Hawks certainly like what they have seen from Ladd, who has 2 goals and 4 assists in eight games since the Feb. 26 swap and has shown a physical side and the willingness to go hard to the net.

Ladd and Ruutu will be a big part of the story line tonight at the United Center when the Hawks play the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes like Ruutu as well. Ruutu brings to town 1 goal and 2 assists in six games with his new team.

"We view Tuomo as a really good player, a good two-way player and hard-hitting guy with a good skill level," said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford.

Maybe next time: While there has been no official word from the NHL, it appears all but certain the league will award the New York Rangers next season's "Winter Classic," which will be played outdoors in Yankee Stadium against likely the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's a done deal from what I heard," Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios told Detroit reporters. "I hope it is, anyway. To be part of the last event at Yankee Stadium is going to be something special."

Further confirmation that New York is getting the game and not the Hawks comes from an Oilers source who said Don Craig, the NHL's icemaker who works in Edmonton, already has been advised to begin plans for playing in Yankee Stadium.

Tip-ins: The MRI on Ben Eager's right shoulder Monday showed a partial dislocation. He is out indefinitely. … Former Hawk Sergei Samsonov, now with Carolina after he was waived earlier this season, has 12 goals and 12 assists in 27 games with the Hurricanes.

Tonight's faceoff

Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center, 7:30 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Radio: WSCR 670-AM

The skinny: With seven games to play at the United Center, the Hawks can't let any more points slip away on home ice, where they have dropped two straight. Carolina is in first place in the Southeast Division and would need to collapse big time to fall out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Tuomo Ruutu has 1 goal and 2 assists in six games with the Hurricanes, who won't have Rod Brind'Amour for the rest of the season following knee surgery.

Player to watch: Tuomo Ruutu. The former Hawk faces his ex-teammates for the first time since being traded.

Next: Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena, 6 p.m. Friday

-- Tim Sassone