Steady Eddie stars in shootout win
Vancouver finishes road trip with gritty comeback and a sharp goalie who refused to lose
Captain Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks tries to control the puck on his knees while being pestered by Jannik Hansen in front of the Vancouver Canucks' bench on Friday. The Canucks wrapped up a three-game road trip at the United Center in Chicago with a 3-2 shootout victory. The Canucks earned three of a possible six points on their road trip.
Photograph by: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images, Vancouver Sun
Traction was something Lower Mainland drivers had trouble finding on Friday.
After spinning their wheels for much of the past four days, the Vancouver Canucks finally found some of their own Friday to salvage something from a three-game road trip.
Daniel Sedin scored midway through the third period to force overtime and Mike Santorelli and Ryan Kesler scored in the eight-round shootout as the Canucks came from two goals down to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 at the
United Center. Playing their third game in four nights, the Canucks fell behind 2-0 but battled back to beat a Hawks team that hadn't lost in regulation all season after scoring the first goal.
The win gave the Canucks three points out of a possible six on their trip, which began with a shootout loss in Minnesota on Tuesday and a 4-1 defeat Thursday in Dallas.
Canucks netminder Eddie Lack was brilliant in goal, stopping seven of eight Hawks shooters in the shootout.
Daniel dove to chip a loose puck past Chicago goalie Antti Raanta at 10:48 of the third to tie the game. The play started when Henrik Sedin got the puck back to defenceman Kevin Bieksa at the left point.
Bieksa's shot deflected off Chicago forward Ben Smith and toward the crease area.
The game started just the way the Canucks hoped it would not. The Blackhawks kept Vancouver hemmed in its own end in the opening minutes and the inevitable happened at the 7:49 mark when Patrick Kane's shot from just inside the blue-line hit Kris Versteeg in front and trickled past Lack.
"I just got a stick on it and luckily it went in," Versteeg said in a between-periods TV interview.
The Canucks emerged from the first period down only 1-0, but it could have been worse. Chicago outshot Vancouver 10-3 and the Canucks' three shots came from Tom Sestito, Andrew Alberts and Chris Higgins, who had the only real scoring chance on a breakaway that was stopped by Raanta six minutes into the game.
Vancouver looked like another team in the second - maybe it was something coach John Tortorella said or screamed during the first intermission - and outshot the Blackhawks 9-0 in the opening minutes. But Kane finished off a play he started at the 4:57 mark to put Chicago up 2-0. Kane threw a pass to defenceman Johnny Oduya, whose one-timer was stopped by Lack. But the rebound went directly to Kane, who had most of the net to shoot at. He didn't miss for his 21st goal of the season.
The Canucks got that one back when Zack Kassian scored his seventh of the season at 8:19 of the second. His shot from the left faceoff circle appeared to deflect off the skate of Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook and past Raanta.
ICE CHIPS: The Canucks stayed in Chicago overnight Friday and were scheduled to return home Saturday. They meet the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena on Sunday in their final game before the Christmas break. That game is a 5 p.m. start ... The Canucks and Blackhawks complete their three-game season series Jan. 29 at Rogers Arena.
Next game Sunday vs. Winnipeg Jets 5 p.m. at Rogers Arena SNET-P/TEAM 1040
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