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Vancouver Canucks (20-11-6) at Chicago Blackhawks (25-7-5)

December 20th, 2013 at 6:02 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are back home as they play host to the Vancouver Canucks tonight. The Blackhawks have won two in a row and five of their last six. The Canucks have lost two in a row after winning seven straight. This is the second of three meetings between the teams. The Blackhawks won the first meeting 2-1 on November 23 after scoring two third periods goals nine seconds apart. 

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Patrick Kane enters tonight on a 10-game point streak, recording 18 points over that stretch. Kane sits second in the league with 46 points. Teammate Jonathan Toews is on a six-game point streak, recording eight points.
  • The Blackhawks have scored a power play goal in 10 straight games.
  • The Blackhawks are 12-2-4 at home this season. They have outscored their opponents 68-46 at home.
  • Canucks forward Daniel Sedin has two goals and four assists in his last three games against the Blackhawks. Sedin is tied with his twin brother Henrik for the team lead in points with 32. 
  • The Canucks with be without forward Alex Burrows, defenseman Alex Edler and former-Blackhawks defenseman Ryan Stanton due to injury. 

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta (7-1-1, 2.26 GAA, .920 SV%)

Raanta is 5-1-0 in his last six games and has done a nice job filling in for injured Corey Crawford. Raanta has lived up to the challenge presented to him and has kept the Blackhawks on top of the NHL. 

Vancouver Canucks: Eddie Lack (4-2-0, 2.00 GAA, .928 SV%)

Lack hasn't allowed a goal in his last two appearances, recording a shutout win on December 9 against Carolina. Lack is in his first year in the league and has done a good job early on. He will surely be tested tonight against one of the league's best teams.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Sharp: 16 G, 18 A, 34 P

Sharp has 10 points over his last six games, including four power play goals. He currently sits second on the team in goals and points and is on pace for his best statistical season in the NHL. 

Vancouver Canucks: Forward, Ryan Kesler: 15 G, 11 A, 26 P

Kesler leads the Canucks with 15 goals, but has been held scoreless in his last five games. Kesler seems to finally be healthy after missing most of last season with an injury. He is almost an automatic 20 goal scorer and reached the 41 goal mark in 2010-2011.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Andrew Shaw: 10 G, 10 A, 20 P

After embarking on a five game point streak, Shaw is pointless in his last three games. Shaw scored in the last meeting between the teams and will look to repeat that performance tonight.

Vancouver Canucks: Forward, Chris Higgins: 11 G, 11 A, 22 P

Higgins has eight points over his last seven games. He sits tied for second on the team in goals and tied for fifth in points. Higgins looks like he is on his way to another 20-goal season, a mark he has surpassed three times in his career.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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