Thomas Vanek, Brock Boeser power Canucks in win over Blackhawks

Thomas Vanek had two goals and three assists, Brock Boeser added a goal and three assists, and the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Pair combine for 9 points as Vancouver snaps 4-game losing streak

Thomas Vanek, left, scores in the Vancouver Canucks' 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. (Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press)

Thomas Vanek thought it was going to be "one of those nights" after Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Anton Forsberg robbed him twice on point-blank opportunities in Thursday's first period.

Turns out the Vancouver Canucks winger was correct — just not the way he envisioned.

Vanek had two goals and three assists, rookie phenom Brock Boeser added a goal and three assists, and Vancouver snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over Chicago.

Canucks defeat Blackhawks, Thomas Vanek 5 points

5 years ago
Duration 0:30
Vancouver beats Chicago 5-2, snaps 4-game losing streak.

Sam Gagner chipped in with two goals and an assist of his own to round out the line's 12-point performance that featured a number of jaw-dropping passes as the Canucks (16-17-5) registered just their second victory in the last 10 games (2-7-1). Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves to get the win.

"We played well as a team overall, and our line ... we created a lot of chances," said Vanek, who recorded the third five-point night of his career. "Tonight was just one of those games where all three of us clicked."

They didn't right away, though, as Forsberg stoned Vanek with a highlight-reel stick save early in the first period before thwarting him again on a power play after a nice give-and-go with Canucks defenceman Derek Pouilot.

"I thought early on it was going to be one of those nights where it goes the other way," said Vanek. "He made some great saves. As a line, we stuck with it."

That line was put together three games ago, and started to find its footing in Vancouver's 3-1 home loss to the St. Louis Blues before the Christmas break.

With the Canucks hurting up front minus Bo Horvat (foot) and Sven Baertschi (jaw), the contributions of Gagner and Vanek — both signed as free agents in the summer — and Boeser, who was no lock to make the team out of training camp, are a big plus.

"I've played with Vanny a lot this year," said Gagner. "When you add [Boeser] into the mix, he finds so much open ice, he creates so many chances.

"Hopefully we can build off of that one."

Nick Schmaltz and Ryan Hartman replied for Chicago (17-14-5), which has lost three in a row after winning five straight. Forsberg made 26 saves in taking the loss in place of injured starter Corey Crawford.

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville credited Vanek, Boeser and Gagner, but was also critical of his team's defensive structure.

"All three of them have a lot of skill and they have good patience," said Quenneville. "It was a bang-bang play on all of [the goals].

"Pucks going through us down low like Swiss cheese ... it was too easy."​


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?