Preview: Blackhawks at Canucks
Elias Pettersson has established himself as an extremely early favorite for the Calder Trophy with the season’s first month coming to a close, and for good reason. With an NHL rookie-best total in goals (seven) and points (10) despite missing six games due to a concussion, Pettersson aims to continue his torrid streak on Wednesday as the Vancouver Canucks host the Chicago Blackhawks.
Pettersson, who is the 21st player in NHL history to score at least seven goals in his first seven contests, tallied in both the second and third period of Monday’s 5-2 win over Minnesota. “He’s got a really good mind for the game, his details are sharp,” Canucks coach Travis Green told reporters of the 19-year-old Swede, who was the fifth overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft. While Vancouver snapped a two-game skid to improve to 1-1-0 on its four-game homestand, Chicago has dropped a pair of contests heading into the opener of a three-game trek through the Pacific Northwest. Patrick Kane extended his point streak to six games for the Blackhawks with an assist on defenseman Brent Seabrook’s 5-on-3 goal in the first period of Sunday’s 2-1 overtime loss against Edmonton.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NHL Network, WGN (Chicago), Sportsnet, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet360 (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (6-3-3): Corey Crawford allowed one goal in three successive starts before getting gashed for six on Saturday in a 7-3 setback at St. Louis. The two-time Stanley Cup winner missed all three contests versus Vancouver last season due to a concussion which had effects that lingered for nearly 10 months, and he is not interested in talking about that anymore. “Is there a point?” Crawford asked Tuesday, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s done. It’s over. It’s almost a year ago. It’s way, way past now, and I don’t really care, to be honest.”
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (7-6-0): Forward Brandon Sutter is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a separated shoulder sustained during the second period of Monday’s game versus the Wild. While Green elected against getting into specifics and said that Sutter’s recovery time would not be days but “more like weeks,” Vancouver recalled forwards Darren Archibald and Brendan Gaunce from Utica of the American Hockey League. Archibald scored a goal in Thursday’s tilt versus Arizona in his lone Canucks appearance this season and is expected to contribute on the penalty kill.
1. Chicago C Marcus Kruger (team-leading 14 penalty minutes) did not skate with any of the four lines during Tuesday’s practice and is likely to be a scratch versus Vancouver.
2. The Canucks outscored the Blackhawks 14-6 en route to winning all three games last season.
3. Kane, who has collected six goals and four assists during his point streak, has failed to dent the scoresheet on just one occasion in 12 games this season.