Blackhawks

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Canucks tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Canucks tonight on CSN

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.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

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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Erik Gustafsson on his first NHL fight and Blackhawks reaction to it

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USA Today

Erik Gustafsson on his first NHL fight and Blackhawks reaction to it

Towards the latter stages of the second period in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Sabres, Alex Nylander received a pass at the Buffalo blue line and fed it to Jonathan Toews, who nearly connected with Brandon Saad that would've put the Blackhawks up 3-0. Then the whistle blew.

Penalty? Injured player?

Nope. 

A scrap ensued in the neutral zone and Chicago's eyes lit up once it became clear which player got involved: Erik Gustafsson, who had zero career NHL fights before dropping the gloves with Sabres forward Jimmy Vesey. So what the heck happened?

"I don't know, I felt like he was coming late," Gustafsson said. "Got his hands up in my face when he hit me and kind of crosschecked him after and he slashed me. I didn't say anything, I was just looking at him, he looked at me and we dropped 'em."

It's easy to figure out what Vesey was trying to accomplish. The Blackhawks had just scored to make it 2-0 and he's looking to change the momentum of the game.

The surprising part was the fact Gustafsson engaged, which he normally doesn't do unless it's warranted. It threw his teammates and everyone on the bench off guard because he's not known to be a physical player.

As soon as the fight began, the TV cameras panned to Saad on the ice and the confused look on his face told the story.

"I haven't talked to him about it yet," a laughing Gustafsson said. "I have to go ask him why he looked so surprised. It was kind of funny, I got to show him that too."

Said head coach Jeremy Colliton: "I didn't see what happened before. I just saw he was fighting and I just, you know ... wondered what could have happened. But, hey, you've got to stick up for yourself."

The only other fights Gustafsson has had in his professional career came with the Rockford IceHogs during the 2016-17 season. He dropped the gloves twice, and both came against Manitoba Moose forward J.C. Lipon, who's profile on hockeyfights.com is significantly longer than Gustafsson's. Each of those scraps started because Gustafsson was unhappy with a hit that was laid on him.

Gustafsson was credited with the takedown in both of those fights against Lipon, but he didn't have as much luck against Vesey.

"Your adrenaline is going up pretty quick," Gustafsson said. "I wanted to keep going there but he dragged me down hard. But it was good to have the first one."

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Brian Campbell is getting the 'One More Shift' treatment from Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

Brian Campbell is getting the 'One More Shift' treatment from Blackhawks

Brian Campbell was one of the key acquisitions that helped turn the Blackhawks into a contender after years of missing the playoffs. Now, the Blackhawks are honoring him for his contributions to the team.

Campbell will be honored with “One More Shift” ahead of Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Blackhawks announced. Campbell will be alongside the team during the national anthem in full gear.

The 40-year-old is now a player development coach for the Blackhawks. He joined the team as a free agent ahead of the 2008-09 season. That season he was second on the team with 45 assists and helped the Blackhawks break a five-year playoff drought and make it to the conference finals for the first time in 14 years.

The following season, the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Campbell spent three years with the Blackhawks during that stint before closing out his career with the team in 2016-17. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.