The Chicago Blackhawks entered Friday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks on a bit of a roll, winning their last two games and showing some spark after being demolished last Saturday night in Toronto.
But whenever the Canucks are in town, there seems to be a ton of hype surrounding the game and Patrick Kane brings his “A” game.
Friday night was no different.
The Canucks, winners of their last eight out of ten games and were trying to get revenge on a Blackhawk victory in November. But, after one of their better all-around games against the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks were looking to continue that success and it looked like their were going to versus the Canucks until about eight minutes into the second period.
That is when after leading 2-0 after two goals involving Patrick Kane (one goal and one assist), Canucks forward Zack Kassian drove up the ice and ripped a shot from just past the blue line and behind Hawks goaltender Antti Raanta to make the game 2-1. The Hawks could not convert on multiple power plays throughout the rest of the second period and left the door wide open for the Canucks to start the third period.
That is what the Canucks did.
The Canucks came out in the third period looking like the more inspired team and capitalized on the Hawks’ inability to score.
A little pass the halfway point of the third period, Canucks forward Kevin Bieksa launched a shot from the point and the puck was stopped by Raanta on his left pad and trickled towards Canucks forward Daniel Sedin. Sedin lifted the rebound over Raanta to tie the game a two.
After nothing happening for both teams to close out the third period, the Hawks and Canucks headed into overtime with both teams guaranteed at least one point in the standings. In overtime, things were similar to the end of the third, with no one scoring and the game headed into a shootout.
After the first three rounds of the shootout, the Hawks and Canucks each scored once and were looking for that second goal and good goaltending to finish off the victory.
In the eighth round, the Canucks were able to find that. Hawks forward Michal Handzus could not convert for the Hawks in the eighth round and Canucks forward and future USA Olympian Ryan Kessler snuck the puck past Raanta to give the Canucks the 3-2 win.
Through 38 games, the Hawks still sit atop the Western Conference and the entire National Hockey League with 56 points. The Hawks play their next nine of their next 13 games at home, continuing on Monday night.
Monday night is when the Hawks face the New Jersey Devils from the United Center. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. (Central) and can be seen on CSN-Chicago.
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