Blackhawks Face Canucks; Vancouver Without Suspended Rypien

(Sports Network) - The Canucks have yet to find their road game this season and the frustrations are starting to boil over.

Vancouver will try to snap a three-game road skid to start the campaign this evening, but will likely do so without Rick Rypien as they visit United Center and the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, who have won three straight overall.

The Canucks have been outscored 14-6 in losing their first three road games of the season and were routed last night, 6-2, in Minnesota.

Roberto Luongo gave up all six goals on 18 shots before being pulled after the second period for Cory Schneider. Luongo has been in net for all three road losses this year and has posted a 5.29 goals-against average and .797 save percentage.

Daniel Sedin had both goals for the Canucks, giving him six on the season. That has him tied for second in the NHL. Henrik Sedin added a pair of assists and has nine helpers to open the season. He has notched at least one in all six of Vancouver's games so far.

Despite the Sedin success, the Canucks have lost three of their last four and allowed three power-play goals in the setback to the Wild.

"Minnesota was the best team on the ice tonight," said Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault. "They beat us in all areas of the game, from loose pucks to puck battles and obviously the power play. They deserved to win the game."

Rypien is likely looking at a suspension after grabbing a fan on the way to the dressing room during the second period after getting assessed a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. He also may have pushed an official prior to his altercation with the fan.

Vancouver was already skating last night without both Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard. Hamhuis was out with a foot injury suffered when he blocked a shot on Sunday, while Ballard missed his second straight contest due to a concussion.

Chicago has won four of its last five and is being paced offensively by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. Sharp scored the game-winner in overtime on Monday versus the Blues, while Hossa scored the two regulation goals.

Hossa leads the NHL with seven goals and 11 points and has opened the season with a point in each of Chicago's first seven games. Sharp, who banged home his third straight game-winning tally, has five goals in his last three games to give him six on the season.

"It's just one of those things where I'm getting chances," said Sharp. "We have a good team. I think offensively, we are creating a lot of chances. Not so much [Monday], but we capitalized on the one I had."

Marty Turco made 32 saves for the Blackhawks, who split four meetings with the Canucks last year before eliminating them in the second round of the postseason en route to their championship. Chicago has lost seven of its last 10 regular-season games at home versus Vancouver.

Turco is 18-7-2 with a 1.92 GAA in his career versus the Canucks, while Sharp hasn't scored in his last six regular-season games versus Vancouver.

Luongo, meanwhile, is 11-8-0 with a tie and 2.27 GAA lifetime when facing the Blackhawks. Daniel Sedin has five goals and 10 points in his last six games against Chicago in the regular season, while Henrik has been held without a point in three of the last four meetings.

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