Canucks to conclude road trip against Blackhawks

Canucks to conclude road trip against Blackhawks
December 20, 2013, 8:30 am
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Nina Falcone

After getting a couple days off following their 3-1 victory in Nashville, the Blackhawks will host the Canucks tonight. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet beginning at 6:30 with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

The Canucks began the month with a seven-game win streak, but they'll be coming into tonight's matchup following back-to-back losses to the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars. Tonight's game concludes their three-game road trip.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are coming into tonight's matchup following a pair of 3-1 victories over the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators. The defending champions have had a couple days off following their long string of road games, and earlier in the week the players said their excited to spend the next few games at home.

[MORE: Blackhawks finding different ways to score on the power play]

The Canucks' pair of losses could prove even more of a challenge for the Blackhawks — they'll be doing everything they can to avoid heading back to Vancouver with a 0-3 record. 

These two teams have only met one time previously this season; the Blackhawks tallying a 2-1 victory in that late-November game by scoring both goals within a nine-second span in the third period. During last year's lockout-shortened season, the Blackhawks and Canucks met a total of three times. Chicago earned two of those wins, but their first two matchups of the season were both decided by shootouts. Only the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over Vancouver ended in regulation.

The Blackhawks and Canucks have developed a growing rivalry between each other, and each game they've played since last season has been a low-scoring game. Tonight the Canucks will be battling to return to the win column while the Blackhawks will fight to stay there. 

Point leaders

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane (20G, 26A), Patrick Sharp (16G, 18A), Jonathan Toews (13G, 20A), Duncan Keith (3G, 29A), Marian Hossa (14G, 16A)

Canucks: Daniel Sedin (11G, 21A) Henrik Sedin (9G, 23A), Ryan Kesler (15G, 11A), Mike Santorelli (8G, 18A), Chris Higgins (11G, 11A)

[RELATED: Is Duncan Keith having the best season of his career?]

Goaltender matchup

The Blackhawks recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera from the AHL's Rockford IceHogs on Thursday. He'll be backing up Antti Raanta, who will get the start tonight.

Roberto Luongo got the start in Vancouver's loss last night, and John Tortorella has yet to announce whether he or Eddie Lack will get the nod tonight. Luongo's posted a .919 save percentage and 2.26 goals-against average in 31 games played.

Lack's played just nine games this season (six starts) and recorded a .928 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average.

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