CHICAGO – The Vancouver Canucks (9-3-3) will attempt to extend their consecutive games with a point streak tonight when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks (4-7-3) at United Center.
After a 2-1 overtime loss at home to St. Louis on Tuesday, the Canucks have now collected points in their last eight outings going 5-0-3 during that stretch. On Tuesday, the team needed a late Quinn Hughes goal to push the game to overtime where the Blues prevailed. Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced on the night. Markstrom is on a personal 5-0-3 streak dating back to October 12th.
Markstrom will get the start again tonight and the Canucks will use the same 18 skaters they used against the Blues. So Sven Baertschi and Oscar Fantenberg will have to wait to make their season debuts.
Tuesday was the second time in three games the Cauncks were limited to just a single goal. They also fell 2-1 in overtime in Anaheim last Friday. Part of the issue is a power play that went 0 for 4 against St. Louis and is one for 13 over its past three games. Elias Pettersson scored with the man-advantage in Saturday’s win in San Jose.
After starting the season with a pair of outright losses in Alberta, the Canucks have just one regulation loss in their past 13 games (9-1-3). Defensively, the Canucks have been stout this season holding 10 of their 15 opponents to two goals or fewer. That has been the case in five of their last six road games with only a late goal by the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-3 Canucks victory last Wednesday at Staples Center putting a dent in that streak.
Quinn Hughes scored and logged 20:18 in his return to the line-up after leaving last Friday’s game in Anaheim and missing Saturday’s contest in San Jose with a bruised knee.
Tanner Pearson has gone 11 games without a goal and has just two assists over that stretch. After scoring a pair of goals against Florida on October 28th, JT Miller has gone four without finding the back of the net. Since his hattrick in Detroit on October 23rd, Bo Horvat has one goal in his past six games and since his hattrick in LA last week, Brock Boeser has gone three games without scoring. That said, Miller had an assist on the team’s lone goal on Tuesday and has 0+3=3 in his last four games while Horvat has 1+5=6 in his last six.
The Hawks are home after a California road trip wrapped up with a 4-2 loss in San Jose on Tuesday. Chicago had just eight shots on goal through 40 minutes although the team generated 13 in the final period when it scored both of its goals.
Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith scored the Blackhawk goals while Robin Lehner made28 saves in his second straight start. Lehner has been in goal for three of the Hawks four victories on the season, but he will back-up Corey Crawford tonight.
The Blackhawks are 1-2-1 in their last four games and 2-5-2 in their past nine.
Patrick Kane leads the team with 13 points and -- along with Brandon Saad and Alex DeBrincat -- shares the team lead with four goals on the season. Kane’s last goal was the overtime game winner in Anaheim on Sunday night.
Captain Jonathan Toews has just 2+4=6 on the season although 1+3=4 of them have come on a three-game point streak that he carries into action tonight.
The Hawks are the lowest scoring team in the NHL with 33 goals so far this season averaging 2.36 goals per game. Only Detroit and Columbus average fewer on a per game basis. Chicago is 28th in the league on the power play sitting at 11.9% and having scored just five goals with the man-advantage so far this season. DeBrincat has three of them.
Chicago’s line-up features two of its top prospects: 18-year-old Kirby Dach was the third selection in June’s NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver while 19-year-old Adam Boqvist was taken one pick after Quinn Hughes in the 2018 draft. Dach has 1+2=3 nine games into his NHL career while Boqvist has 1+0=1 in his three big-league appearances.
POSSIBLE CANUCKS LINE-UP
POSSIBLE BLACKHAWKS LINE-UP