Vancouver is one of three teams to hand the Chicago Blackhawks a loss. Like the other two, the Canucks were unable to get it done until a shootout.
The Blackhawks look to match the NHL record for consecutive games without a regulation loss to start a season Tuesday night against the visiting Canucks.
While every other team has at least two regulation losses, Chicago (12-0-3) has yet to suffer one and now can match the league record set by Anaheim, which started 12-0-4 en route to winning the 2007 Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks scored the first three goals and held on for a 3-2 home victory over Los Angeles on Sunday to equal the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second-longest point streak to open a season.
While those starts by the Ducks and Oilers would spur championship seasons, the Blackhawks aren't ready to make comparisons.
"What's important to us is getting home-ice advantage, making the playoffs," said captain Jonathan Toews, who has three goals and five assists in the last six contests. "Those are our goals. Once you get there, the real season starts. When you get to that point, no one really cares or remembers those streaks at the start of the season."
Since opening a seven-game homestand with a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim last Tuesday, Chicago has defeated San Jose and Los Angeles as Ray Emery has stopped 52 of 55 shots. He's 5-0-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average.
Emery, who has not faced Vancouver since January 2007, could get the nod while starter Corey Crawford remains day to day with an upper-body injury. Crawford is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 GAA.
Based on the Blackhawks' tense rivalry with the Canucks (8-3-3), it seems fitting Vancouver stands in the way of their shot at history.
"They are the unbeaten team in regular time, they are the benchmark right now," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're going to focus on that."
Chicago eliminated Vancouver from the playoffs in 2009 and 2010 before the Canucks returned the favor in 2011. Roberto Luongo was pulled twice in that series before winning Game 7, and he made 27 saves in Vancouver's 2-1 shootout victory over the Blackhawks on Feb. 1.
"Just throw some more, whatever, incentive into the game," Chicago forward Patrick Sharp told the NHL's official website. "It seems like it's something new every time we play those guys."
Patrick Kane scored 9:42 into the third period to force overtime at Vancouver this month, but Jordan Schroeder scored the lone shootout goal. Kane has three goals and two assists in his last four versus Vancouver.
It's uncertain if Luongo or Corey Schneider will start when the Canucks open a four-game trip.
Luongo's four-game winning streak ended Sunday with a 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis, dropping him to 4-0-3 with a 1.63 GAA. Schneider is 4-3-0 with a 2.62 GAA and could not hold a two-goal lead in a 4-3 loss to Dallas on Friday.
Though Vancouver's Mason Raymond has no goals and three assists in his last 18 games against the Blackhawks, including the postseason, he is tied for the team lead with five goals. Raymond has scored twice and added four assists in the last six overall.
"He's going to the tough areas where you need to go to score goals," Vigneault said. "He's competing one on one, and he creates room for himself and his teammates."
Vancouver forward David Booth could make his season debut on this trip after being sidelined by a strained groin. He had 16 goals and 13 assists in 56 games last season.
Chicago has scored a power-play goal in every home game, going 4-0-1, but was a season-worst 0 for 5 with the man advantage at Vancouver.
The Associated Press News Service
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