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November 24, 2009

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Blackhawks make it 7 in-a-row

THE Chicago Blackhawks chalked up their seventh successive win on Sunday after Bryan Bickell's third period goal gave them a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Bickell picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season while netminder Antii Niemi made 30 saves for his second shutout.

"We just tried to keep it simple," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith told reporters. "We didn't want to get into an up-and-down kind of game, even though that is what we usually like.

"Antii hadn't played in a while and he was just unbelievable. Defense was our first priority tonight, and this was a great win for us."

Chicago's Brian Campbell helped set up the goal, skating in from the point and driving to the Vancouver (12-11-0) net. He lost the puck in front of goal but it trickled to Bickell, who tapped the puck behind a sprawling Robert Luongo.

It was Bickell's first NHL goal since April 2007.

Chicago (15-5-2) has had to make an extended road trip every November, as a circus sets up for a two-week stint at its United Center home every year.

Chicago, which started the road trip with victories in Calgary and Edmonton, will travel to San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles before returning to home ice.

Luongo faced just 17 shots while Niemi repelled 30.

"We got 30 shots, which is pretty good," Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler said. "We had a lot of chances and we should have scored, so it's a tough loss."


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