After putting their fans to sleep on Friday night, the Hawks came out and put together a relatively exciting opening 20 minutes in Vancouver.
Coach Joel Quenneville threw his lines in the blender in an effort to spark some offense. He opened the game with Jonathan Toews on the ice with Andrew Shaw and Ryan Garbutt, and then sent out a line of Marian Hossa with Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins. Marko Dano returned to the lineup in place of Viktor Tikhonov as well.
Three minutes into the game, Brandon Mashinter dropped the gloves with Brandon Prust. The slow dance ended after little exchange and the two spend the following five minutes in their respective penalty boxes.
Toews opened the scoring with a power play goal at 6:17 and the Hawks showed more life than they did in Calgary.
Unfortunately, the Hawks defensively didn’t bring their A game in the first period, and the next two goals were scored by the Canucks. With both Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson in the box, Daniel Sedin found his brother Henrik with only two seconds left on the 5-on-3 to tie the game. The assist was the 900th point of Daniel’s career; the goal was Henrik’s sixth of the season.
Less than six minutes later, Jannik Hansen scored his sixth of the season to give Vancouver a brief 2-1 lead. But 53 seconds later, Toews found Garbutt who scored his first as a member of the Blackhawks.
After four goals in the first period, only one was scored in the second. The Hawks were able to control the flow for most of the early going in the middle frame, but the action slowly started to favor the Canucks – and they eventually made the Hawks pay for too many mistakes. Henrik returned the favor and found Daniel wide open in front of the Hawks net on a power play with Garbutt in the box and broke the tie.
Through 40 minutes, the Canucks had only put 13 shots on net. Unfortunately, three of those shots beat Corey Crawford, and the Hawks – who had put 18 shots on Ryan Miller – were trailing.
With Dano coming back from an illness and Mashinter being better suited for the ECHL, the Hawks played their third game in four nights with two forwards who rarely saw the ice; Dano and Mashinter combined for 16 shifts and barely nine minutes of ice time in the first two periods. And as the game progressed into the third, neither could get off the bench.
With eight minutes left in regulation, Quenneville blew up his lines again and threw Hossa out with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov. Kane found Trevor Daley to Miller’s left, who got the puck to Anisimov in front for the game-tying goal. Kane was credited with the second assist to extend his point streak to 16 games, and Anisimov stayed hot with his ninth goal of the season.
The tie lasted only 2:15 until, you guessed it, the Sedins checked in once again. Daniel scored on back-to-back shifts to push the score to 5-3 and his sixth career hat trick. Henrik had four assists with his goal for a five-point night as the Hawks simply didn’t have an answer for the Sedins.
When Alex Burrows scored an empty-net power play goal (with Kane in the box), the final score was settled at 6-3 in favor of the home team.
Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with four hits by himself; Chicago had five as a team in Calgary. Trevor van Riemdsyk led the way with four blocked shots.
Bo Horvat, who had been struggling recently, won 14 of 19 faceoffs to lead the Canucks as the teams evenly split 58 faceoffs in the game. Toews and Kruger each won nine of 17 in the loss; Chicago’s captain led the Hawks with five shots on net.
Crawford allowed five goals against only 19 shots. Vancouver scored on three of their four power plays.
The Hawks are off until Wednesday night when they visit the Sharks in San Jose.