The Vancouver Canucks have appeared to cool off after a lengthy
win streak, and that’s not a promising sign heading into a matchup
with the Western Conference leaders.
The Chicago Blackhawks seek a sixth win in seven games Friday
night while trying to send the rival Canucks to a third consecutive
After outscoring opponents 24-8 during a seven-game win streak,
Vancouver (20-11-6) has netted three goals in the first two of its
three consecutive road contests. Chris Higgins tallied his club’s
only score in a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Thursday, the Canucks’ first
regulation defeat this month.
“We need to move by it, not overthink this and get ready to play
our next game,” coach John Tortorella said.
The Blackhawks have earned a pair of 3-1 victories since a 7-3
drubbing in Toronto on Saturday, and Patrick Kane continued his
red-hot play by scoring the go-ahead goal Tuesday in Nashville.
Kane has five goals and 13 assists during a 10-game point streak
and at least one point in 22 of his last 23 contests.
Chicago also scored two power-play goals against the Predators
and improved to 14 for 41 (34.1 percent) during a 10-game streak
with at least one.
“It’s been hot for us,” Kane said. “Hopefully we can keep it
The power-play success has also helped Chicago (25-7-5) win
three in a row at home, one shy of matching a season high.
The Blackhawks won 2-1 in Vancouver on Nov. 23 by scoring both
goals in a nine-second span in the third period.
Kane assisted on the first of those, netted by Andrew Shaw, and
Marcus Kruger had the other. Corey Crawford outdueled Roberto
Luongo by making 36 saves but he’s expected to miss at least
another week because of a lower-body injury.
Antti Raanta has gone 5-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average
since Crawford went out and is 7-1-1 with a 2.26 GAA in 10
appearances this season. The Blackhawks also brought up former
Canucks netminder Jason LaBarbera from the minors Thursday.
Chicago acquired LaBarbera from Edmonton on Saturday because
former backup Nikolai Khabibulin is still dealing with a groin
injury. LaBarbera appeared in nine games for Vancouver in
After Luongo was pulled in the third period Thursday, it’s
unknown if the Canucks will start him or Eddie Lack. Lack stopped
all seven shots he faced against the Stars and posted his first
career shutout in his most recent start Dec. 9 against
Lack has never faced Chicago while Luongo is 2-1-1 with a 1.71
GAA in his last four matchups. Luongo wasn’t in net for the
Canucks’ most recent visit to the United Center, a 4-3 shootout
loss Feb. 19.
Marian Hossa had two goals in that game but was forced to leave
when Jannik Hansen hit him in the back of the head early in the
third period. Hansen drew a one-game suspension from that
Hansen has tallied three of his six goals in the last five
Henrik Sedin has three goals and 12 assists in his past 10
regular-season meetings but hasn’t scored a goal in his last seven.
Daniel Sedin had six points (two goals, four assists) in his last
Kane has at least one point in five of his last six games
against Vancouver, totaling three goals and four assists, but he
has just two assists in his past three.