One of the NHL's most heated rivalries begins a new chapter tonight at Rogers Arena when the Canucks (3-2-2) play host to the Blackhawks (6-0-1) for the first time this season.
- The Canucks are looking to string together consecutive wins for just the second time this season after opening their two-game home stand on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over the Avalanche.
- Chicago is coming off their first setback of the season after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Wild on Wednesday to kickoff a six-game road trip.
- Canucks G Roberto Luongo, fresh off his 61st career shutout, will start tonight. F Andrew Ebbett may slot back into the lineup if F Dale Weise is unable to go. Weise missed practice yesterday with a sore neck.
- Chicago G Corey Crawford seems to be the obvious choice as their starter tonight. H's off to a fantastic 5-0-1 start and has allowed two-or-less goals in all six of his starts so far. He started all four games against the Canucks last season posting a 2-1-1 record with a 2.68 GAA and .911 save percentage.
- The Canucks and Blackhawks split their 2011.12 season series with two wins apiece. Each team won once at home and once on the road.
- Canucks F Daniel and F Henrik Sedin certainly seemed to play inspired hockey against Chicago last season. They combined for three goals and 11 points in the season series and finished as the top-two scoring leaders in the season series overall.
- Blackhawks F Patrick Kane (2-2-4) and F Marian Hossa (0-4-4) shared the team lead in points against the Canucks last season.
- This is the first of three meetings between the Canucks and Blackhawks this season. They'll meet again on February 18 in Chicago before closing out the season series in Vancouver on April 22.
- Maybe more shots are in order for Canucks F Zack Kassian given his hot hand. He's managed to net five goals despite only firing 15 shots, which puts him with the fourth-leading shooter on Vancouver behind Burrows, Edler and Daniel Sedin.
- Blackhawks F Jonathan Toews (3-2-5) brings a five-game point streak into tonight's game while his linemate, F Marian Hossa (1-3-4), is riding a four-game point streak.
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