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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks - 12/20/13

Vancouver Canucks (20-10-6) at Chicago Blackhawks (25-7-5)
Date & Time Friday December 20, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -173 / Vancouver Canucks +157 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Canucks look to rebound after a sloppy effort in Dallas last night as they head to the United Center to take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canucks and Blackhawks have developed one of the game’s fiercest rivalries over the past couple of seasons and while it has started to diminish of late due to Vancouver’s hatred for the Boston Bruins there are still fireworks when these teams meet. The two teams met in the playoffs in successive seasons that saw some bad blood develop but in the end it has been all Chicago as they have won two Stanley Cups in the past four years while the Canucks fell short in game seven against the Bruins in their only trip to the finals since 1994. Vancouver came out very slow last night against the Stars but to be honest it was a circumstance we expected as this is a major look ahead spot for the Canucks as they would love to go into the United Center and deal the Blackhawks just their third regulation loss at home all season. Roberto Luongo is slated to get the start as he goes up against Antii Raanta for Chicago.

The Hawks have picked up where they left off last season as the defending Cup champions look to hold onto the league’s top record with a victory over the Canucks here tonight. Chicago has 55 points in their first 37 games and lead the Penguins by two points in the President’s Trophy race but with the Canucks on tap they know they’ll have to play a full team game if they want to skate away victorious. Corey Crawford remains out of the lineup but Antii Raanta has been brilliant in relief and he will get another chance at victory here tonight in what should be a tightly contested games between two bitter rivals. The Blackhawks are heavy favourites here and while I would normally try to justify a way to take the Canucks I just don’t see it happening in this spot. Chicago is a much better team than Vancouver and have one of the best players in the world right now in Patrick Kane firing on all cylinders. The TV stations and the league are hoping for a good game but I think the Hawks take it comfortably./ 

Chicago Blackhawks -0.5
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