NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 20th (All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (6-8-4-2) at Vancouver Canucks (11-4-2-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks try to remain unbeaten on home ice this evening when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to GM Place.
Vancouver improved to 8-0-1 at home on Tuesday when Mattias Ohlund netted the game-winner in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens. Philadelphia, at 7-0-2, is the only other NHL team without a home loss.
Ed Jovanovski tallied two goals and an assist for Vancouver, which played its third consecutive OT contest and halted a three-game losing streak in the process.
Sami Salo and Brendan Morrison also found the back of the net while Todd Bertuzzi posted three assists in the victory. Vancouver goaltender Dan Cloutier allowed four goals on 23 shots and moved within two victories of 100 for his career.
With the contest tied at 4-4, Bertuzzi gained control of the puck and circled behind the net. At the left circle, he fed across to Ohlund, who beat Jose Theodore to lift Vancouver to victory.
Vancouver closes a three-game homestand on Saturday against Toronto.
The injury-riddled Blackhawks, meanwhile, are riding a six-game winless streak after enduring a 5-2 setback at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday
Mark Bell and Scott Nichol lit the lamp for Chicago, which is 0-5-1 over its last six. Michael Leighton allowed four goals on 29 Oilers shots, and fellow rookie Craig Anderson will likely be between the pipes tonight.
The Blackhawks had won three in a row before their current slide.
Chicago continues to play without stars Eric Daze and Alexei Zhamnov, as well as starting goaltender Jocelyn Thibault. The latter is out for 10-to-12 weeks following hip surgery last Saturday to repair a torn labrum in his hip.
The Blackhawks, who are 3-5-4 away from home this season, won't skate at the United Center again until December 3 against Buffalo.
Vancouver was 3-1 against Chicago last season and is 4-1-1 in the last six matchups. Chicago has also lost four of its last seven on the Canucks' ice.
Tonight's contest will also be the first NHL matchup between the Ruutu brothers. Twenty-year-old Tuomo is a rookie center for the Blackhawks, while 28-year-old Jarkko is a fourth-line center for the Canucks.
11/20 11:04:58 ET