Marian Hossa will play in his 1,200th career game and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at the United Center.
Hossa, who did not participate in this morning’s skate, struggled to score points this season but his defensive game has remained steady. And reaching this number of games certainly speaks to his longevity.
“Consistency is probably a good description to his career and in games as well,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He plays both sides of the puck extremely well, has great purpose to his game and [has been a] great professional over the years. He’s really has done a lot for our team and you just like the way he approaches each and every game.”
Patrick Kane enters tonight’s game on a 25-game point streak. The Blackhawks were noticeably trying to get him to establish the new franchise mark (he broke Bobby Hull’s 21-game mark last Sunday vs. Winnipeg). But they’ve since gotten back to their normal game. Kane doesn’t let the streak dominate his mind too much, either.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
"I mean, we're not worried about it. I think it was exciting when it was around 19, 21, 22 games, but I think we're not thinking about that anymore. We're focused on winning games,” Kane said. “We've been playing a little better as of late – except for the game in Nashville – and we've got a few home games here to try and pick up some points. That's where our minds are. Nothing else, really."
The Blackhawks have won three out of four games entering tonight. Their last outing against Vancouver was an ugly one, with Daniel and Henrik Sedin combining for four goals and five assists (three of those goals were Daniel’s) in a 6-3 loss on Nov. 21.
“We better be a lot more careful than the last time we saw them. They were unbelievable that night and they can do that any given night,” Quenneville said of the Sedins. “They have great patience, play recognition and they’re dangerous. We don’t want to put them on the power play; we have a lot of respect for what they’re capable of.”
The Blackhawks look to be going with the same lineup as on Friday. Brandon Mashinter and David Rundblad will remain in the lineup. Ryan Garbutt and Michal Rozsival are expected to be the scratches.