Up until last Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks had been undefeated, posting their best season start in franchise history. It was the Minnesota Wild who spoiled what would have been the Hawks’ seventh straight regulation win, but Chicago still managed to pick up a point as the game went into a shootout.
Tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks may not have been the most exciting one, considering the bad blood between the two teams, but leave it to the Blackhawks’ bitter rival to spoil their fun.
5 minutes into the first period, on a feed from Zack Kassian, Alexander Edler’s wrist shot beat Corey Crawford to put the Canucks up by one. Following Edler’s goal, Roberto Luongo stayed sharp, and the Blackhawks failed to capitalize on several key man advantages, leaving the scoreboard reading 1-0 for the next 45 minutes of play.
But halfway through the third period, Patrick Kane wheeled around from a tough angle and went top shelf on Luongo, giving his team a chance to continue their point streak.
3 Chicago penalties threatened to revert the score back in favor of the Canucks, but Corey Crawford played solidly in net –and with some help from Marian Hossa, who single-handedly defined the meaning of a good penalty kill– the Hawks were able to push forward into overtime.
A crucial 5-on-3 for the Hawks in the extra frame solved nothing (on the contrary, the Canucks almost got the game winner on a breakaway during the Chicago powerplay, if not for Hossa, who sped across the ice and knocked the puck away just before it made its way past Crawford).
The first round of the shootout saw impeccable performances from goaltenders on both ends of the ice. Heading into the second round, it was an unlikely hero who won the game: 22-year old Canucks center Jordan Schroeder, who scored on his first attempt. Nick Leddy failed to beat Luongo, and Vancouver skated away with the victory.
Of a possible 16 points, the Chicago Blackhawks have now picked up 14 and hope to get a full 2 points tomorrow at the Saddledome against the struggling Calgary Flames.
About the Author
Written by Anna Santiago
26-year old sports writer from Calgary, Alberta. A hockey and basketball lover above all.