Blackhawks vs the Canucks: Record maker or record breaker

When the Vancouver Canucks come to town, it's always some of the most entertaining hockey of the season. The Blackhawks-Canucks rivalry is one of the most intense in the NHL.

The Blackhawks are on the verge of a record: they've already tied for the second-best start in league history (points in 15 games); with at least one more point in Tuesday's game, they'll tie for best. If they can avoid losing in regulation between now and Saturday, it's a new high for the books. Until the Blackhawks lose in regulation, they may be wearing a bigger target on their backs than the Los Angeles Kings are, as defending Stanley Cup champs.

You can bet that nobody would love to knock them off that potential record more than the Canucks, who are 8-3-3 and atop the Pacific division. The Canucks already denied Chicago one point in their first game of the season in 2-1 shootout win in Vancouver on March 1st.

Vancouver has gone 4-1-1 since then, outscoring opponents 20-14 in that stretch. After coming off a hot streak, they lost their last two at home. Aside from blowing out the Wild 4-1 and the Flames 5-1, the other four games were 1-goal games.

photo by Cheryl Adams / HockeyBroadRyan Kesler returned to the lineup this weekend, and David Booth is expected to be back in games some time this week - he was medically cleared to play today, and Andrew Ebbett was waived to the AHL.

The Blackhawks have only given up one point since last facing the Canucks - to Anaheim in a 3-2 shootout loss.

Goalie Corey Crawford (7-0-3, .935 sv%, 1.65 GAA) is currently out of the lineup with an upper body injury; Henrik Karlsson was called up from the AHL to fill in behind Ray Emery, who is currently 5-0-0 (.929 sv%, 2.17 GAA). Winger Daniel Carcillo is expected to return to the lineup soon as well.

Tuesday's match has all the elements set for a very exciting game between these two fierce rivals.

* * *

GAME PREVIEW

Time: 7:30 p.m. CST

Blackhawks record: 12-0-3
Canucks record: 8-3-3

Location: United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago

Where to watch: CSN-Chicago; SNET-P
Where to listen: WGN 720 (phone app available)

Next 2 games: Fri 2/22 vs San Jose; Sun 2/24 vs Columbus

Follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks; you can follow me at @HockeyBroad