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Canucks aim to rebound in Chicago

by Brian Compton
CANUCKS (2-3-1) at BLACKHAWKS (4-2-1)

TV:  TSN, RIS; CSN-Chicago.

Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the teams. Each time won twice during the 2009-10 regular season before Chicago eliminated Vancouver in six games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Big Story: The salary cap forced the Blackhawks to give their roster a makeover this summer, but the defending champs still find themselves atop the Central Division after their first seven games of the 2010-11 campaign. After a sluggish start, Chicago enters Wednesday's action riding a three-game winning streak.

Team Scope:

Canucks: Roberto Luongo's struggles in Minnesota continued on Tuesday night, as he was chased after two periods in Vancouver's 6-2 loss to the Wild. In his last three starts at Xcel Energy Center, Luongo has a 7.00 goals-against average and a .768 save percentage.

"He was like the rest of our team. Everybody in that room, starting with me, could do a better job," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.

Blackhawks: Chicago made it three in a row in dramatic fashion Monday night, when Patrick Sharp beat Jaroslav Halak 3:50 into overtime to lift the Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center.

"The first 50 minutes, there weren't a lot of offensive chances out there," Sharp said. "It was frustrating, but encouraging we got it to overtime."

Who's Hot: Marian Hossa scored a pair of goals 2:31 apart late in the third period Monday night and leads the League with 7 goals and 11 points in 7 games. … Daniel Sedin scored both of Vancouver's goal at Minnesota on Tuesday, giving him 6 tallies on the season.

Injury Report: Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard missed Tuesday's game due to a concussion suffered on Friday at Los Angeles and is unlikely to play Wednesday. Alexandre Bolduc (ankle), Alexandre Burrows (shoulder) and Sami Salo (torn ACL) are also all out. … Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell (knee) is out.

Stat Pack: Canucks goalie Cory Schneider made 32 saves in a 5-1 win over Carolina on Sunday for his first NHL victory in 22 months. … Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky played a career-high 23:19 against the Blues on Monday.

Puck Drop: "It was a tough one, not a very good game obviously for myself. I don't know what it is about this rink, but obviously I haven't had great performances here. It is one of those things where we have to battle through it." -- Roberto Luongo in the Vancouver Sun after Tuesday's loss
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