Duncan Keith will not be in the Chicago Blackhawks' lineup Sunday night when they face their most bitter rival, the Vancouver Canucks.
The defenseman has an injured left hand after getting hit by a shot last Monday night against the Nashville Predators and will miss his third consecutive game. Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Sunday morning after a team meeting at the United Center that Keith would make the Hawks' road trip beginning Tuesday night in St. Louis.
It's the first meeting between the teams since the Canucks eliminated the Hawks in a hard-fought seven-game Western Conference quarterfinals series and both sides are fired up.
"There are always games that are marked on your calendar during the regular season," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews told reporters. "You can't say that every game is the same because it's not. It's the first game since that seventh game loss last spring and we'll be ready for it. Even during the regular season the pace is always elevated between these two teams and I don't think that's changing yet. It seems like it builds every time we play Vancouver, something new comes up that kind of adds to the mix.
"It's always two really good, really competitive teams going head-to-head. It's more than just hockey out there against guys that get into it pretty good. Multiple things add to it as to why it's so competitive and so personal out there. Little things happen, whether it's hit or plays, things that you remember from previous series or previous games during the regular season that you want to get even with them for every time they take it to you."
The Canucks will be without winger Alexandre Burrows, who is out with a back injury. It was Burrows who scored the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7 to halt any possibility of the Hawks repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
"It seems like a long time ago but it was a really big game at the time, one of the biggest games in franchise history," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa told reporters Sunday. "It felt like we won the Stanley Cup after we won that game. It was special for us, but that's in the past now and is not going to help us (Sunday). We have to bring our best game."
Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Hawks and will be opposed by Roberto Luongo for the Canucks.
"We all know the history the last few years," Luongo said. "The boys are excited and this is a fun building to play in. I've always liked playing in this rink. It's one of of my favorite barns to play in. Ive had some great games in here, some not so great games. It's always a fun building, it's loud and obviously with the intensity of the games with these guys it always makes for some good hockey."
Vancouver will also be without defenseman Sami Salo, who has a groin injury.
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