Returning home after splitting a two-game road trip in Florida this week, the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night in the United Center. The Blackhawks, currently 8-2-3 on the season with the highest point total in the Western Conference, hope to continue their dominance at home against one of their key rivals.
Vancouver, 6-7-1 on the season, has lost its last two games. The team is presumably hoping that a match-up with Chicago will get them back on track. The Blackhawks and Canucks have faced off in the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, with Chicago ousting Vancouver from the postseason in both 2009 and 2010 before the Canucks knocked out the Hawks last season. Maybe a little bit of history is what they need.
The Blackhawks have been playing quite well this season, though, especially in front of their home fans. The team is an unbeaten 5-0-2 while hosting other teams, so the Canucks have quite the hill to climb if they want to break their two-game losing stream. They've only lost once in regulation over the past ten games, and are positioning themselves as one of the league's better teams once again.
Goalie Corey Crawford is expected once again against Vancouver after receiving the night off on Friday when the Blackhawks faced Tampa Bay. Chicago led by two goals against the Lightning in that game but failed to hold the lead before losing 5-4 in overtime. Back-up Ray Emery started on Friday against Tampa.
The Blackhawks go back on the road after Sunday's game to face the St. Louis Blues and then the Columbus Blue Jackets.
For more on Sunday's game, check out Second City Hockey, SB Nation's Chicago Blackhawks blog, and Nucks Misconduct, SB Nation's Vancouver Canucks blog.