There was one game on the NHL schedule on Halloween. The Blackhawks were in Vancouver to face a young Canucks team, and before the puck dropped Chicago was already at a disadvantage. Patrick Kane, who missed the morning skate, was too sick to participate in the game.
Take away the leading scorer and offense would figure to be hard to come by, but the Hawks simply let the Canucks out-skate them in the third period.
Brandon Saad scored his third of the year at 6:56 into the game. Chris Kunitz and Artem Anisimov were credited with the assists.
Chicago held onto the lead for almost nine minutes until Jake Virtanen put home his fourth of the season.
The Hawks out-shot the Canucks 9-6 in the first period.
The Hawks out-shot the Canucks 10-8 in the second period. Jonathan Toews scored his seventh of the year to 65 seconds into the middle period and the Hawks held onto this lead for more than 12 minutes.
Until Virtanen tied the game. Again.
The Hawks showed some bounce, they were able to hang onto the puck well and even killed penalties in the first two periods. Against a young team – even without Kane – this appeared to be a game the Blackhawks could come out of with at least one point.
Everything that was good about the opening 40 minutes was flipped in the third period. Vancouver out-shot the Hawks 14-7 in the third, and outscored them 2-0 to win the game 4-2.
Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 28 in the loss. Toews won 12 of 18 faceoffs. Saad led the Blackhawks with five shots on net.
But a completely flat third period cost the Blackhawks points in the standings in a division that isn’t taking nights off.