The Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks both expect to continue their respective pushes for the top spot in the Western Conference in the final months of the season.
Trying to avoid a third straight defeat, the Blackhawks' pursuit of that goal could get an immediate boost if two of their top players return from injuries when they open a nine-game road trip against the Canucks on Tuesday night.
After entering the All-Star break with two straight losses to Nashville, Chicago (29-15-6) received some good news when injured stars Jonathan Toews (hand) and Patrick Sharp (hand) practiced Monday, creating the possibility that they could both play at Vancouver.
Toews, who has a team-leading 27 goals, missed last Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Predators. Sharp, who has 20 goals and 20 assists, has missed the last eight games.
"With (Toews') case, hopefully he comes out of (the All-Star break) fresh, and can start, we'll see how that goes,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. "And (Sharp) as wel...