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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 29th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (32-10-13) at Vancouver Canucks (27-18-9), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to snap a four-game winless stretch on Wednesday night as they continue a lengthy road trip against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Blackhawks are 0-2-2 over their last four games, dropping them into a tie with the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. Both teams have 77 points, but the Blues own the current tiebreaker by having played three fewer games.
Chicago began a seven-game road trip on Tuesday night that runs through the Olympic Break with a 5-4 overtime setback to the Calgary Flames. T.J. Brodie had the game-winner for the Flames, stuffing a wraparound past Corey Crawford with 2:34 to go in overtime.
Crawford was tagged with the loss despite stopping 13-of-14 shots in relief of Antti Raanta, who allowed four goals on 15 shots. He was pulled after yielding a short-handed goal 10:25 into the second period.
"I didn't like the first couple of goals," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. "They were going in on him (Raanta). At the same time it was an easy time to make the decision to pull him."
Marian Hossa scored twice, once shorthanded, while Ben Smith and Patrick Kane potted a goal apiece for the Blackhawks, who are 1-1-5 in their last seven on the road.
Crawford is likely to get the start tonight and is 4-2-2 with a 2.09 goals against average in eight previous meetings with the Canucks.
Vancouver's scoring woes could be the remedy that Chicago needs. The Canucks have been held to a pair of goals or fewer in eight of their last nine games, including Monday's 4-2 setback to the Edmonton Oilers.
In his first game since Oct. 19 because of a broken ankle, Jordan Schroeder scored his first two goals of the season, while Roberto Luongo yielded four goals on 20 shots.
"I needed to come up with that save in the third period," Luongo lamented. "The team needed it."
Vancouver had won three of four coming in and played a fourth consecutive game without center Henrik Sedin, who is out with a rib injury.
The Canucks will try to break even on a four-game homestand tonight and are likely to start Luongo, who is 15-10-2 with a tie, four shutouts and a 2.17 GAA all-time versus the Blackhawks.
These two clubs have split a pair of meetings this season, with each team winning on the road.
It has been a tight series as of late, with the franchises splitting the last 14 encounters, and the Blackhawks' 2-1 victory in Vancouver on Nov. 23 snapped a three-game series road losing streak.
01/29 10:28:32 ET