The Chicago Blackhawks will try to rebound from their first defeat of the season when they visit the Vancouver Canucks for a battle at Rogers Arena.
By beginning this season 6-0, the Blackhawks were off to the best start to a season in franchise history. Chicago finally was dealt a loss Wednesday evening in Minnesota, but the Blackhawks still managed to gain a point in the shootout decision. Matt Cullen scored the winner in the decisive phase to lift Minnesota to the 3-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center.
In the final round of the shootout, Cullen snuck a quick wrist shot between the pads of Corey Crawford and Patrick Sharp banged his shot off the crossbar to give the Wild the win.
Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored for the Blackhawks, while Crawford made 23 stops in the loss.
"I think we played well tonight but we have to bury the chances we get and we didn't do that," said Shaw. "I think we'll come out on top the next time."
The loss to Minnesota was the first test in a six-game road trip for the Blackhawks. Chicago is 4-0-1 as the guest so far in this shortened season.
Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival is questionable for Friday's game after missing the last three outings with a lower body injury.
The Canucks will aim for a second straight win after halting a two-game slide with Wednesday's 3-0 triumph over visiting Colorado. The Canucks improved to 16-0-2 in the last 18 meetings with the Avalanche
Roberto Luongo earned his 61st career shutout with a 24-save performance in the win.
"I really wanted to get in there and get a win for the guys," Luongo said. "The guys did a great job of keeping most of the shots to the outside, enabling me to do my job much easier."
Although he entered this season battling trade rumors and was named the backup to Cory Schneider, Luongo will get his third straight start on Friday.
Luongo is 1-0-2 with a 1.61 goals against average and .938 save percentage this season, while Schneider is 2-2-0 with a 3.13 GAA and .897 save percentage.
Jason Garrison and Maxim Lapierre each potted their first goal of the season in Wednesday's win, and Zack Kassian added a power-play marker.
The Canucks have won four of the last six meetings against Chicago overall and three of five in Vancouver.