Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.
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Five Things to Watch:
1. Will Ryan Hartman start on the top line?
Hartman responded to being a healthy scratch Tuesday by scoring the game's first goal in Friday's 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames, and was promoted to the top line with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews midway through the contest. Vinnie Hinostroza and Tyler Motte will both return to the lineup, and it could be Motte who gets a crack at the first line as they search for more consistency on that unit.
2. Fast start.
The Canucks are the only team in the league that have yet to own a lead after the first period. They've scored only five goals in the opening frame this season, which ranks dead last. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have scored 18 first-period goals, which ranks tied for third, and are 7-1-0 when leading after one period as well as 10-2-0 when scoring the game's first goal. This has the potential to get out of hand quickly.
3. Michal Rozsival back into the lineup.
Joel Quenneville doesn't like to mess with a winning lineup, but there's an exception here considering tonight will be the second road game in as many nights, and are currently in the early stages of a six-road-games-in-nine-days stretch. Rozsival has played in only four games this season, the last of which was Nov. 1 when he registered an assist in a 5-1 win over the Flames. Not sure who the odd-man out will be, but it's not surprising to get fresh legs out there.
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4. More power plays, fewer penalties.
The Blackhawks committed five minor penalties on Friday night, but killed off every one of them en route to a 3-2 victory over the Flames. They had committed just three penalties total in their last three games. On the other side of special teams, the Blackhawks broke a 2-for-25 slump on the power play by cashing in on their only opportunity of the game yesterday thanks to a Brent Seabrook blast that tied the game at 2-2 in the second period. It came at a crucial time, too.
5. Scott Darling's first road start.
With Corey Crawford having started the first of a back-to-back, Darling will man the crease tonight, which will be his fourth start of the year and first road one of the season — he stopped both shots in 11:17 of ice time Tuesday against Winnipeg after replacing Crawford in the third period. Darling didn't fare as well on the road last season, posting a 6-6-2 record with a 2.82 goals against average and .904 save percentage, including a shutout, in 18 appearances. At home, he was 6-2-2 with a 2.19 goals against average and .930 save percentage in 11 games. Look for Darling to try and get off on the right foot away from home this season.
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