The Blackhawks (24-19-7) head into the game with back-to-back wins and four consecutive road victories.
Chicago is still without starting goaltender Corey Crawford, who is out with an upper-body injury. However, Anton Forsberg has stepped up in his absence including 42 saves — 22 saves in the third period — to help the Hawks hold off the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Tuesday. Forsberg has allowed only four goals in his last three games.
The victory put Chicago four points out of the Western Conference second-place wild card spot and 10 points away from the third spot in the Central Division. Dallas and Minnesota hold the two wild-card spots with 60 and 59 points, respectively, while Anaheim (59), Colorado (58) and Calgary (58) are on the bubble and above Chicago in the standings. Only Minnesota is idle Thursday, while Anaheim, Colorado and Dallas are on the road. Calgary hosts the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canucks also picked up a win in their return from the All-Star break with a 4-3 overtime home victory over Colorado. It was a win Chicago had no issue with it as it helped them close the gap against the Avalanche in the standings.
Vancouver won the first game of the season series 5-2 against Chicago on Dec. 28 at United Center. Brock Boeser, Sam Gagner and Thomas Vanek were responsible for every Canucks goal in the contest.
Vanek scored twice and assisted on three others, while Gagner also tallied two goals and had one helper. The Calder Trophy favorite Boeser, who won an NCAA national championship at North Dakota with Chicago’s Nick Schmaltz in 2016, had a goal and three assists. Boeser leads all rookies and the Canucks in scoring with 24 goals and 44 points. Vanek is right behind Boeser at 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) this season.
Ryan Hartman and Schmaltz both netted goals in the loss to Vancouver. Schmaltz is on a roll by averaging a point per game in his last 12 contests. He’s second on the team to Patrick Kane with 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) this season.
Kane paces the Hawks with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 35 career games against the Canucks. With an assist in Tuesday’s win, Kane recorded his 50th point this season and three away from 500 helpers for his career.
|F1||Alex DeBrincat - Jonathan Toews - Anthony Duclair|
|F2||Brandon Saad - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane|
|F3||Ryan Hartman - Artem Anisimov - Tommy Wingels|
|F4||Tomas Jurco - David Kampf - Vinnie Hinostroza|
|D1||Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle|
|D2||Erik Gustaffson - Brent Seabrook|
|D3||Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy|
|F1||Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Brock Boeser|
|F2||Thomas Vanek - Bo Horvat - Loui Eriksson|
|F3||Sven Baertschi - Brandon Sutter - Markus Granlund|
|F4||Brendan Gaunce - Sam Gagner - Jake Virtanen|
|D1||Alexander Edler - Troy Stecher|
|D2||Michael Del Zotto - Chris Tanev|
|D3||Ben Hutton - Alex Biega|
*Lines are subject to change.
How to watch Blackhawks at Canucks
Start time: 9 p.m. CT
Location: Rogers Arena, Vancouver