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Preview: Canucks at Blackhawks

Chicago can extend winning streak to six games, potentially take over top spot in Presidents' Trophy race

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (28-34-9) AT BLACKHAWKS (47-20-5)

8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, SNP, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

Forward Jack Skille will return to the lineup for the Vancouver Canucks, who have lost six straight games (0-4-2). Skille, who missed 12 games because of a groin injury, tested it during an optional morning skate at United Center and said he's ready to go. "It's going to be fun playing in this building," said Skille, who began his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007. "It's always a fun building to play [in] and these guys are always a good team. It's a really big challenge, especially coming off an injury, so I'm just excited to be back in the room with the guys, feeling like I'm part of the team again." It's unclear where Skille will slot into the lineup, but he's expected to start on the fourth line. Michael Chaput is expected to play right wing with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin in a spot vacated by Markus Granlund, who will have season-ending wrist surgery Friday. Forward Nikolay Goldobin (illness) also skated but is not expected to play. Goalie Ryan Miller is expected to start. The Canucks are 16 points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Blackhawks could move into first place in the race for the Presidents' Trophy with a victory, which would give them 101 points, and a loss of any kind by the Washington Capitals against the Calgary Flames. The Blackhawks have won five straight games, are 17-3-0 in their past 20 and lead the Minnesota Wild by seven points in the Central Division and Western Conference. Forward Marian Hossa and defenseman Johnny Oduya will play Tuesday. Hossa missed the past two games because of a lower-body injury. Oduya didn't play in a 6-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday to rest. "You always want to play, as a player, but sometimes you also put yourself in trouble," Oduya said. "I've done that earlier this year, where I played with an injury and it didn't really put me in a good spot for a whole lot of the season. I think sometimes management has a little bit different picture of how they want to play certain guys and do certain things. In this case it was probably the right decision, even though I wanted to play." Dennis Rasmussen will return at left wing on the fourth line after being scratched the past three games and seven of the past eight. Goalie Corey Crawford will start.

 

Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Reid Boucher

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Michael Chaput

Joseph Cramarossa -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Joe Labate -- Drew Shore -- Jack Skille

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Philip Larsen, Alex Biega

Injured: Markus Granlund (wrist), Jacob Markstrom (illness), Derek Dorsett (back), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee), Loui Eriksson (knee), Nikolay Goldobin (illness), Brendan Gaunce (hand)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

John Hayden -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Tanner Kero -- Tomas Jurco

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Johnny Oduya -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Andrew Desjardins, Jordin Tootoo, Michal Kempny, Michal Rozsival

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body)

 

Status report 

Gaunce didn't travel to Chicago. ... Hayden and Panarin switched spots in the third period against the Avalanche but returned to their previous positions during line rushes at the morning skate. Desjardins had played the past three games; Tootoo had played the previous five games and eight of the past nine.

 

Who's hot

Kane has 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in his past 12 games. Panarin has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past 12 games, with points in 11 of those games.

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