Rogers Arena — Vancouver
Patrick Kane (CHI) — 1G, 2A
Marian Hossa (CHI) — 3A
The first period on Saturday night at Rogers Arena saw two teams trying to find their feet.
The Vancouver Canucks were the only team left spinning their wheels over the next 40 minutes of play.
Whatever the metaphor — feet, wheels, skates — the Canucks couldn't get them going as a four-goal burst in the middle frame chased Roberto Luongo from the net and gave the Chicago Blackhawks all the offence they'd need in a 7-1 win.
Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Troy Brouwer, Patrick Sharp scored the second-period goals for Chicago (11-10-2), which couldn't have rebounded any better following Friday night's 7-2 loss to Calgary.
Fernando Pisani added a pair in the third and Patrick Kane put the exclamation point with the seventh goal before Mikael Samuelsson scored the only Canucks' tally.
Vancouver (10-6-3) has now dropped its last three games and has been shut out twice this season.
Sharp told Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Oake that it was exactly the type of effort his team needed to show after the loss to the Flames.
"That was a good response from our team tonight after what happened in Calgary," Sharp said. "I didn't think we had any weaknesses from top to bottom."
Both teams had a hard time settling into a rhythm in the first 20 minutes, combining for 17 shots and two failed power plays apiece.
The Canucks third power play came in the second period, but was also stymied, thanks mostly to the shot-blocking efforts of the Chicago defence corps. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith both got in front of pucks in the second period kill of Seabrook's high-sticking call that sent the two defenders hobbling to the bench, but kept Vancouver from registering a single shot.
2nd period scramble
It turned out to be an important kill as the Blackhawks broke the game open with four unanswered tallies.
Toews and Marian Hossa teamed up to open the scoring 4:59 into the second. Hossa gained the Vancouver zone and sent a hard, low pass toward a streaking Toews, who redirected the puck through the legs of Luongo for a 1-0 lead.
Brouwer doubled the lead 2:26 later with a combination of a great move and great patience. Taking the puck into the Vancouver zone, the Chicago right wing cut along the outside and skated across the goal-line before he stepped around Luongo and slipped the puck inside the post.
Chicago's power play put the period's third goal on the board with six minutes left in the middle frame. Seabrook sent a rocket from the point that eluded a screened Luongo as Tanner Glass sat in the box on a high-sticking call.
"Chances were pretty much the same after the first [period] but for whatever reason in the second they got after those two quick goals and then they scored that power play goal," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We weren't able to turn the game to find any rhythm at all."
Sharp ended Luongo's night less than two minutes later with a nice move that came about from a Tomas Kopecky no-look pass. Kopecky sent the puck from the corner, across the slot and onto Sharp's stick where a nifty deke beat Luongo and summoned Corey Schneider off the Vancouver bench.
Asked about the goalie switch, Vigneault said, "It was 4-0 and it was tough to find any player that had an average game, so I just decided to throw [Schneider in]."
The third period saw more of the same. Pisani added a pair while Kane went top shelf on Schneider to complete the rout before Samuelsson potted a rebound to break Crawford's shutout bid.