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Canucks Report: Blackhawks in town

by Jeff Paterson / Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks (27-18-9) face their old rivals the Chicago Blackhawks (32-10-13) at Rogers Arena tonight. This is the final home game for the Canucks until Wednesday February 26th against St. Louis. The Canucks are looking to rebound from Monday’s 4-2 home ice loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

After last night’s 5-4 win over Phoenix, the Canucks are 9-2-3 in their last 14 games on home ice. The five-goal outburst was the most offense the Canucks have generated in a game since a 6-2 win over Boston on December 14th.

Jordan Schroeder scored both Canucks goals in his return to the line-up after missing 44 games with a broken ankle. Brad Richardson went 17-12 in the face-off circle – the most face-off wins by any player (on either team) in a Canucks game this season. Richardson’s 19:59 of ice-time was his second-highest total of the season after logging 21:51 vs CGY on January 18th.

Chris Tanev (upper body) will not play tonight. Yannick Weber, who dressed as a forward on Monday, will slide back to defense while Dale Weise draws back into the line-up up front. Kevin Bieksa (2+1=3) carries a two-game point streak into action tonight.

In their past four games the Canucks are 0/15 on the power play which has now dipped to T-28th in the NHL (14.0%). In the past 10 games, the team is 2/36 with the man-advantage./p>

The Canucks and Hawks split their first two games this season with each team winning in the other’s building. The Blackhawks were 2-1 winners here on November 23rd while the Canucks rallied from a 2-0 deficit and triumphed 3-2 in an eight-round shootout at the United Center on December 20th.

The defending Stanley Cup champions arrive here after a 5-4 overtime loss in Calgary last night. Antii Raanta got the start and allowed four goals before being replaced by Corey Crawford who surrendered the winning goal. Crawford -- who has just two wins in his past 13 appearances since December 1st -- is expected to get the call tonight.

As a team, Chicago is tied for second in the overall NHL standings (77 points) and leads the league with 189 goals and an average of 3.44 per game. However the Hawks have not been at their best in January winning just four times in 13 starts (4-3-6).

Patrick Kane is 4th in the NHL in scoring (25+35=60). Patrick Sharp is T-4th in the league in goals (27) and Duncan Keith is 3rd in NHL in assists (44). Keith is also second in the league in defenseman scoring (3+44=47). Marian Hossa scored twice last night including a short-handed goal. He now leads all active NHL’ers with 29 career short-handed markers.

The Hawks are 9-1-3 in the back-half of back to back games this season. Chicago is the only team in the league with three 20-goal scorers so far this season. The Blackhawks are 11-0-5 vs. Pacific Division teams.

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