NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 3rd
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (13-7-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (14-11-2), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Blackhawks didn't seem to miss Marian Hossa's offense
much last time out. They also had no problem scoring goals the last time they
faced the Canucks.
Chicago shoots for a fourth straight win both overall and versus Vancouver in
tonight's clash at United Center.
Hossa, who has eight goals and 18 points in 21 games this season, suffered a
lower-body injury on Monday in practice after a collision with defenseman Nick
Boynton and is expected to miss two-to-three weeks with the ailment.
The Blackhawks took to the ice the following day and skated to a 7-5 triumph
over the Blues in their first home game since Nov. 14, going 4-2-0 on a six-
game road trip before Tuesday's win. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews both
scored twice as Chicago nearly blew a 5-1 lead.
"It's easy to feel you're losing the game all of a sudden. The momentum swung
so much in their favor," Toews said. "Everybody on the bench stayed positive.
I think we really showed our team identity tonight."
Patrick Sharp scored in his fifth straight game, adding three assists in that
span, and Tomas Kopecky notched a goal and three assists for a Chicago club
that has won six of eight and took the opener of a four-game homestand.
Though Corey Crawford won his fifth straight start, making 21 saves, the
Blackhawks will start Marty Turco tonight. Turco went just 2-5-1 in eight
November starts with a 3.22 goals-against average, but is 19-7-2 with a 1.88
GAA in his career versus the Canucks.
He made 36 saves in a 2-1 shootout home win over Vancouver on Oct. 20, but it
was Crawford who stopped 27 shots in a 7-1 victory at Vancouver on Nov. 20.
Kane had a goal and two assists in that one and Sharp scored a goal to give
him seven tallies and 11 points in 18 career games versus the Canucks.
That loss was Vancouver's fourth in five games versus Chicago and it carries a
two-game slide in Chicago into this game. The Canucks have also lost four of
their last six in the Windy City.
Roberto Luongo was pulled after stopping 16 of the 20 shots he faced versus
the Blackhawks, falling to 11-9-1 with a tie and 2.33 GAA in his career when
facing the club. However, he turned aside 18 shots in a 7-2 triumph in Calgary
"It was an important two points for us, being a divisional game," said
Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault after his team moved a point ahead of
Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division.
Mason Raymond posted his second career hat trick versus the Flames and added
an assist for a career-high four points. His first three-goal game also came
versus Calgary on Dec. 27, 2009. but he only has two assists in 12 career
games versus the Blackhawks.
Daniel Sedin, Alexandre Burrows, Jeff Tambellini and Dan Hamhuis also found
the back of the net for the Canucks, who have won three straight games after a
season-worst 0-3-1 stretch. Henrik Sedin recorded two assists to surpass 600
career points in 751 games.
12/03 11:02:15 ET