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Canucks at Blackhawks preview

Toews sidelined for Chicago with upper-body injury; Vancouver looks to end seven-game skid

by Charlie Roumeliotis / Correspondent

CANUCKS (25-39-9) at BLACKHAWKS (30-35-9)

8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, SNP, NHL.TV


The Game

Center Jonathan Toews will not play because of an upper-body injury when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks at United Center on Thursday.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Toews will miss a few games after being injured during a 5-1 loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. The defeat, which extended the Blackhawks' losing streak to four games (0-3-1), eliminated Chicago from Stanley Cup Playoff contention for the first time since the 2007-08 season. 

The Canucks look to avoid their eighth straight loss (0-7-0), which would mark their longest losing streak since they lost the final eight games of last season (0-8-0, March 26-April 9, 2017). Vancouver was eliminated from playoff contention on March 14.


Players to watch

Canucks forward Sam Gagner has 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 34 games against the Blackhawks, including three game-winning goals.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in his past 12 games.


They said it

"It's a great building. Obviously I got a chance to be on the other side of it, but it's another opportunity, another test for our team. Two teams that have a lot of guys that are trying to prove themselves the rest of the way, so I'm excited to be back in this building." -- Canucks forward Tyler Motte on playing at the Blackhawks for the first time since being traded from Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23, 2017; he was traded to Vancouver on Feb. 26

"We had some great runs with these guys, intense series and real close matchups as well. Everybody we're seeing this year, some teams that looked like they weren't in the mix in the beginning of the year all of a sudden [are] having big years. It can change quickly. That's what they're looking to do and that's what we're thinking of." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on facing the Canucks


Canucks projected lineup

Brendan Leipsic -- Bo Horvat -- Jake Virtanen

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Sam Gagner

Darren Archibald -- Brandon Sutter -- Jussi Jokinen

Tyler Motte -- Nic Dowd -- Nikolay Goldobin

Alexander Edler -- Christopher Tanev

Michael Del Zotto -- Troy Stecher

Derrick Pouliot -- Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Reid Boucher

Injured: Sven Baertschi (shoulder), Brock Boeser (back), Brendan Gaunce (foot), Markus Granlund (ankle), Erik Gudbranson (shoulder), Loui Eriksson (fractured rib), Ben Hutton (foot infection)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Patrick Sharp -- Nick Schmaltz -- Patrick Kane

Tomas Jurco -- Artem Anisimov -- Alex DeBrincat

Brandon Saad -- Vinnie Hinostroza -- Matthew Highmore

John Hayden -- David Kampf -- Andreas Martinsen

Duncan Keith -- Jan Rutta

Erik Gustafsson -- Brent Seabrook

Jordan Oesterle -- Connor Murphy

J-F Berube

Anton Forsberg

Scratched: None

Injured: Corey Crawford (upper body), Anthony Duclair (lower body), Jonathan Toews (upper body)


Status report

Highmore skated and is expected to return to the lineup after missing one game.


Stat pack

The Canucks have been shut out in three of their past five games. ... The Blackhawks have been outscored 21-10 during their losing streak.

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