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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 20th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (20-11-6) at Chicago Blackhawks (25-7-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks and their red-hot power play look to deal the Vancouver Canucks a second straight defeat on Friday night as the two clubs get together at the United Center.

The Blackhawks rank third in the NHL on the power play, clicking at 24.6 percent. They have increased that total by scoring on the man advantage in 10 straight games, going 14-for-41 in that span.

Chicago scored twice on the power play in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Nashville, with Patrick Kane and Nick Leddy lighting the lamp while up a man. Duncan Keith also scored in regulation while adding an assist.

Antti Raanta made 27 saves for the Blackhawks, who have won two straight and five of their last six.

"We've been getting some big goals lately at the right time," said Kane. "Hopefully we can keep this momentum going, especially on the power play because you want to take advantage of them."

Kane has been a big part of that. He is tied for second in the NHL with nine power-play goals and tied for third with 19 points on the man advantage.

Overall, the 25-year-old American is second in the league with 46 points, notching five goals and 13 assists over a 10-game point streak.

Kane has eight goals and 11 assists in 24 career games versus the Canucks, picking up an assist in a 2-1 road victory on Nov. 23.

Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger had the goals for Chicago and Corey Crawford made 36 saves in the 'Hawks' fourth victory over the Canucks in the past seven meetings.

With Crawford and backup Nikolai Khabibulin out with lower-body injuries, Raanta is likely to face the Canucks for the first time in his career tonight. The rookie is 7-1-1 with a 2.26 goals against average in 10 games (eight starts) this season.

The Canucks are hoping to avoid a third straight loss tonight and second in a row in regulation. They had a seven-game winning streak snapped with a shootout loss at Minnesota on Tuesday, then dropped a 4-1 decision last night at Dallas.

Chris Higgins scored and Roberto Luongo yielded four goals on 19 shots in 42- plus minutes. He was beaten twice in a 15-second span before the game was five minutes old.

"It was tough start, going down two goals early," said Luongo. "Obviously not the way we want to start a game."

Eddie Lack finished the contest with seven saves in relief.

It is unknown if Luongo will get a chance to rebound tonight or if the rookie Lack will face the Blackhawks for the first time.

Luongo made 27 saves in the earlier loss to Chicago, falling to 15-10-2 with a tie, four shutouts and a 2.17 GAA versus the club lifetime.

12/20 10:49:26 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
BAL 5
BOS 7
Final
NYY 6
NYM 1
Final
DET 1
CLE 13
Final
CIN 3
CHC 7
Final
TAM 12
TOR 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 2
9th
CWS 2
KAN 2
 
Final
MIL 0
STL 3
Final
COL 6
SFG 4
Final
ARI 1
PIT 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 5
Final
ANA 3
TEX 2
Final
SDP 0
LOS 3
Final
SEA 2
MIN 0
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:05pm Today
NYY
NYM
 
4:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
6:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
MIN
 
Final
DAL 128
HOU 130
Final
WAS 106
TOR 99
Final
SAN 100
LAC 73
3:00pm Today
BRK
ATL
 
5:30pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
Final
MON 1
OTT 5
Final
NYR 2
PIT 1
Final
STL 1
MIN 4
3:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
6:00pm Tonight
TAM
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
DUR 8
GWI 6
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI