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posted: 1/19/2010 12:01 AM

Hawks look to continue hot start to trip

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  • The Hawks' Dustin Byfuglien deflects the puck in front of Red Wings center Darren Helm on Sunday in Detroit.

    The Hawks' Dustin Byfuglien deflects the puck in front of Red Wings center Darren Helm on Sunday in Detroit.
    Associated Press


Perhaps the Blackhawks have played a bit loose defensively in the first two stops on their eight-game road trip, but 2 wins are 2 wins.

"Against two good teams," winger Patrick Sharp said. "I don't think we can be 100 percent satisfied the way we've been playing because I think we've been giving up a little too much, but we found a way to win in back-to-back games on the road, and that's important."

The Hawks gave up 5 goals in Saturday's 6-5 win at Columbus and were outshot 38-29 in Sunday's 4-3 win at Detroit that was decided in a shootout.

"This is a great start for us, especially going on such a long road trip," winger Marian Hossa said. "We got the first 2 wins and it always helps for the confidence."

The Hawks have a good chance to make it three straight tonight against an Ottawa team that has run hot and cold most of the season.

The Senators beat Boston 5-1 on the road Monday for their third win in a row, but before that they had dropped five straight.

The Hawks will need to pay close attention to Daniel Alfredsson, who has 4 goals and 2 assists in two games since returning from a shoulder injury. He had a hat trick Monday against Boston.

"Coming back, I feel fresher than anybody," Alfredsson said.

Upon further review: Hawks coach Joel Quenneville briefly questioned the referees after Todd Bertuzzi's goal in the shootout Sunday.

Bertuzzi stopped and spun to his backhand to beat Antti Niemi. The rules say the puck must keep moving forward on a penalty shot or shootout attempt, and the referees felt it had.

"Whether they went back with it or not, that's what I was looking at," Quenneville said.

The puck did appear to stop moving on Pavel Datsyuk's goal in the shootout when he waited a beat before chipping it over Niemi.

To be continued: Patrick Kane said after Sunday's game he still considers the Red Wings the team for the Hawks to beat in the Western Conference.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock didn't come out and say the same thing, but he is looking forward to playing the Hawks again with a full lineup.

The Red Wings have been decimated by injuries all season and still were missing Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall on Sunday.

"We're going to get better," Babcock said. "We're going to have a good show with these guys (the Hawks) down the road."

Todd Bertuzzi of the Wings wasn't as politically correct as his coach.

"I still think we're the team to beat," Bertuzzi said.

Day of rest: The Hawks got the day off in Ottawa on Monday, which allowed Brent Sopel and Dustin Byfuglien to rest their bumps suffered at Detroit.

Byfuglien and Sopel both left the game briefly with apparent arm or shoulder problems but returned before it was over.