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Canucks return home for showdown with Hawks

by John Kreiser
BLACKHAWKS (10-10-2) at CANUCKS (10-5-3)

TV -- CBC (HD), CSN-Chicago (HD)

Last 10
-- Chicago 4-5-1; Vancouver 7-2-1

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Chicago edged Vancouver 2-1 in a shootout at the United Center on Oct. 20.

Big story -- The Canucks come home after a 2-2-1 road trip for a game they're sure to be pumped up for -- it's the first time the Hawks are in town since they eliminated Vancouver with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals last May. The Hawks made mistake after mistake in Calgary on Friday and paid dearly, losing 7-2.

Team Scope:

-- The Hawks are finishing the first leg of their annual "Circus Trip," one that has seen wildly different outcomes in the first two games. Chicago started with a completely dominating 5-0 win at Edmonton on Wednesday, but allowed seven unanswered goals Friday night in the blowout loss at Calgary that left coach Joel Quenneville very unhappy.

"Calgary played well, they played hard," he said. "But we were not up to par. We weren't good at all. This is one of those games there's nothing to be happy about."

Canucks -- A 2-2-1 Eastern trip isn't awful, but for center Henrik Sedin, it's not good enough -- certainly not for team as good as the Canucks feel they are.

“If you want to be an average team, it’s a good road trip,” Vancouver's captain told Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun after Wednesday's trip-ending 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh. “ But we want to be a good team, a great team. We had the chance tonight to be 3-1-1 on the road trip and our execution was way off. That’s not good.”

Who's hot -- Hawks captain Jonathan Toews has 3 goals in his last two games. … Henrik Sedin has 8 assists during a four-game points streak. Twin brother Daniel has 3 goals and 8 points during the same span. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis has goals in his last two games.

Injury report -- The Hawks are healthy, though Quenneville said Corey Crawford might give starter Marty Turco a rest on Saturday. … Vancouver forward Alex Bolduc, who's missed 17 games since injuring his ankle on opening night, has started skating again and could be back in a week to 10 days.

Stat pack -- Chicago had outshot its previous two opponents 90-44 before being outshot 36-33 at Calgary. … The Canucks are 6-0-1 at Rogers Arena, making them one of two teams that hasn't lost a home game in regulation.

Puck drop
-- The Canucks have had a couple of days to rest up after their trip. The Hawks are playing their third game in four nights. But after Friday's clunker in Calgary, expect them to be ready for a Vancouver team -- and crowd -- that figures to be amped up to beat the team that's knocked them out of the playoffs two years running.
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