Back home with a chance to wrap up their first round series, the Canucks entertain the Blackhawks in Game 5 at Rogers Arena tonight. Daniel Sedin (4g,2a), Christian Ehrhoff (1g,4a), and Henrik Sedin (4a) lead Vancouver in head-to-head scoring while Dave Bolland (1g,3a), Michael Frolik (1g,3a), and Patrick Kane (4a) lead Chicago.
Despite their 7-2 loss at the United Center two nights ago, the Canucks are not expected to make any changes to their line-up on home ice. Just a handful of players took part in an optional skate this morning, including Henrik Sedin, Alex Edler, and Roberto Luongo who didn’t skate yesterday in Vancouver. Luongo allowed six goals against on 28 shots before being replaced by Cory Schneider. It was the first time since January 28 Luongo allowed at least four goals in a game. Four of the six goals on Tuesday came in the second period, something Luongo did only once this season. That happened November 20 when the Canucks fell 7-1 at home to Chicago.
Both of Vancouver’s goals in the loss came on the power play. Having gone 4-for-10 in the series, the Canucks lead the NHL playoffs in power play success. Daniel Sedin is one power play goal away from moving into second place in Canucks all-time playoff history.
The Canucks have not won a Game 5 on home ice to clinch a series since 1994. That year, they needed double overtime and a goal by Greg Adams to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Western Conference final.
Game 4 marked the fourth time this year the Blackhawks scored seven goals in a game. 12 different Chicago players had at least a point, including goalie Corey Crawford who made 21 saves for his first playoff win.
Hawks defencemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson did not take part in their morning skate but will play. Brent Seabrook is with the team but Joel Quenneville said he won’t play tonight.
To this point in the series, no goals have come from Hawks forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, or Marian Hossa. During the regular season, 84 of Chicago’s goals came from Toews (32), Kane (27), and Hossa (25).