Two much-improved teams will take the spotlight this Wednesday when the Chicago Blackhawks (6-3-3) visit the Vancouver Canucks (6-6) at 10 PM ET on the NHL Network. After finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference last year, the Blackhawks wrapped up the weekend just one point shy of first place in the Central Division, while the Canucks are two points out of the lead in the Pacific.
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Both teams have enjoyed some good luck along with their positive results thus far. Chicago have a minus-2 goal differential on the season, and at minus-9, Vancouver have the second-worst differential in the West, although they’ve played a much stronger schedule than the Hawks up to this point.
The Canucks also have some injury concerns coming into this matchup. Anders Nilsson (.912 save percentage), who has split the goaltending duties 50/50 with Jacob Markstrom (.902 SV%), has been shelved with a broken finger and could miss several weeks of action. Nilsson joins top defenseman Alex Edler (sprained MCL) and top LW Sven Baertschi (upper-body) on injured reserve. Chicago have a clean bill of health for this game; they’ll also have an extra day of rest, while Vancouver host the Minnesota Wild on Monday.
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