After winning both games at home in their opening round playoff series, the Canucks are in Chicago tonight for Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarter Final against the Blackhawks. Daniel Sedin (2g,1a), Jannik Hansen (2g), and Henrik Sedin (2a) lead the Canucks in head-to-head scoring while Ben Smith (2g), Viktor Stalberg (1g), and Patrick Kane (1a) lead the Hawks.
A couple of changes are expected for Vancouver tonight at the United Center. Raffi Torres is expected to draw into the line-up after serving a four-game suspension. Mikael Samuelsson is also expected to return after missing Game 2 with the flu. If those two return, Mason Raymond would likely return to play centre on a line with Torres and Jannik Hansen while Cody Hodgson and Aaron Rome would likely be healthy scratches.
The Canucks have collected a total of 92 hits over the first two games of this series with Chicago. In their four regular season meetings with the Blackhawks this year, Vancouver put up a combined 95 hits.
Daniel Sedin is coming off his first ever multiple-goal playoff game on home ice in his NHL career. The only other time he’s scored twice in a playoff game came in Chicago in Game 6 in the 2009 Playoffs (7-5 loss). He had seven multiple-goal performances this season.
Vancouver has had the fewest power plays in the playoffs of any Western Conference team (1-for-4). They also sport the top penalty killing percentage of any Western team in the post season (5-for-5).
Last year, the Canucks went 4-2 on the road in the playoffs, including victories at the United Center in Games 1 and 5 of the Western Conference Semi Final.
The Hawks are expected to make a change or two to their line-up. John Scott and Marcus Kruger are both expected to draw in as forwards while Bryan Bickell is not expected to play.
Of the seven points registered by Hawks in the opening two games of this series, five of them have come from rookies. Ben Smith, who appeared in just six games during the regular season, became the first Blackhawks rookie to score twice in a playoff game since Eric Daze did it April 21, 1996.
Duncan Keith leads all players in this series in average ice time (27:34). However he is tied with fellow Blackhawks Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa for a Conference-worst -3 in the playoffs.