NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, February 1st
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (6-0-1) at Vancouver Canucks (3-2-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to rebound from their first
defeat of the season when they visit the Vancouver Canucks for a battle at
By beginning this season 6-0, the Blackhawks were off to the best start to a
season in franchise history. Chicago finally was dealt a loss Wednesday
evening in Minnesota, but the Blackhawks still managed to gain a point in the
shootout decision. Matt Cullen scored the winner in the decisive phase to lift
Minnesota to the 3-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center.
In the final round of the shootout, Cullen snuck a quick wrist shot between
the pads of Corey Crawford and Patrick Sharp banged his shot off the crossbar
to give the Wild the win.
Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored for the Blackhawks, while Crawford made
23 stops in the loss.
"I think we played well tonight but we have to bury the chances we get and we
didn't do that," said Shaw. "I think we'll come out on top the next time."
The loss to Minnesota was the first test in a six-game road trip for the
Blackhawks. Chicago is 4-0-1 as the guest so far in this shortened season.
Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival is questionable for Friday's game after
missing the last three outings with a lower body injury.
The Canucks will aim for a second straight win after halting a two-game slide
with Wednesday's 3-0 triumph over visiting Colorado. The Canucks improved to
16-0-2 in the last 18 meetings with the Avalanche
Roberto Luongo earned his 61st career shutout with a 24-save performance in
"I really wanted to get in there and get a win for the guys," Luongo said.
"The guys did a great job of keeping most of the shots to the outside,
enabling me to do my job much easier."
Although he entered this season battling trade rumors and was named the backup
to Cory Schneider, Luongo will get his third straight start on Friday.
Luongo is 1-0-2 with a 1.61 goals against average and .938 save percentage
this season, while Schneider is 2-2-0 with a 3.13 GAA and .897 save
Jason Garrison and Maxim Lapierre each potted their first goal of the season
in Wednesday's win, and Zack Kassian added a power-play marker.
The Canucks have won four of the last six meetings against Chicago overall and
three of five in Vancouver.
02/01 10:51:58 ET