The Chicago Blackhawks take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Rogers Arena, and here are the TV listings, predictions and more for tonight’s contest
After dousing the Calgary Flames 3-2 last night, the Chicago Blackhawks have won nine of their last 11 games and ride into Vancouver sitting atop the Western Conference with a record of 12-4-2. Recovering from a lackluster 4-0 loss at the Jets Tuesday night, the ‘Hawks got off to a quick lead 1-0 behind Ryan Hartman’s third goal of the season, but had to battle back from a 2-1 deficit after giving up two quick strikes early in the second period.
The Blackhawks’ powerplay has been struggling of late, but Brent Seabrook’s powerplay blast from the point tied the score 2-2 before Marian Hossa notched his second game-winning goal of the season to win it 3-2. Corey Crawford stopped 23 of 25 shots, running his record to 9-4-2. Defenseman Michal Kempny played a strong game all around and finally got on the score sheet with his assist on Hossa’s GWG.
After a 4-0 start, the Canucks went on to lose nine straight, and enter tonight’s tilt at 7-10-1, good for fifth place in the Pacific Division.
Their biggest issue is scoring. The Canucks rank 29th in the NHL with only 2.09 goals per game, while giving up 3.11 goals against (25th). As usual, Daniel Sedin (12 points) and Henrik Sedin (11 points) lead all scorers, while center Brandon Sutter has contributed 10 points. The blue line is fairly deep and could offer some trade bait downstream in return for a proven goal-scoring forward.
The Canucks can’t seem to settle on a starting goaltender. At 2-7, veteran Ryan Miller has had a tough year, hampered recently with flu-like symptoms. Jacob Markstrom has performed admirably enough with a record of 5-3 and .900 save percentage, and looked sharp in Vancouver’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Coyotes on Wednesday night. But wins are hard to come by, with the team’s overall goal differential of minus-19.