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Photo Credit: © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Canucks fall short in Chicago, lose 5-2

The day began with the Canucks earning the praise of a rival coach…

…and may have ended with the Blackhawks feeling better about themselves as they held Vancouver at bay.

The Canucks were coming off some confidence-boosting performances as they entered Chicago looking to get back into the win column and grab the top spot in the division. A game where the Canucks high-flying offense were set to match up against a struggling Corey Crawford had the potential to be very fun, but the veteran netminder backstopped his team to  5-2 win by making 36 saves on 38 shots.

It feels a little odd that this one played out the way it did given how many times we’ve seen the Canucks roar back in the last half of games with strong efforts this season. They weren’t able to put the Hawks on their heels for more than a shift here or there. The offense didn’t look nearly as dangerous as it has and Markstrom looked as though he has cooled off a bit from where he was at earlier in the season.

The good news for the club coming out of this one is that they won’t be able to sit on it long as they are back at it again tomorrow in Winnipeg.

Lines

No changes came to the lineup that was featured against the Blues as Travis Green made it known that he was pleased with their performance. The most prominent talking points surrounding the lineup are Sven Baertschi’s inability to escape the press box and the placement of Adam Gaudette on Bo Horvat’s wing. Jacob Markstrom made his third straight start as he opposed the struggling Corey Crawford.

 

Highlights

 

Stats

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hawks cancuks stats

 

Game Notes

  • It was a dull start for the Canucks, who gave up the first goal for the 11th time in 16 games. For most of the first, they weren’t able to muster up any threatening scoring chances or sustained pressure. Unlike the Canucks, the Blackhawks were able to hit the scoresheet with a snipe off an unorthodox shot from Alex Debrincat and take advantage of a power play opportunity.
  • The Canucks remedied their lack of exciting play from the first period with an early power play goal to start off the 2nd period.
  • Tanev left the game in the first period after sustaining an upper-body on the penalty kill and did not return. That makes it three times in the last four games that the Canucks have had to roll with only five defencemen for their last two periods.
  • Midway through the third, Travis Green decided it was time to mix up the lines in search of some offense. We saw Miller moved off the 1st line to play with Horvat, with Virtanen moving up to take his spot as the fourth line’s minutes dwindled.
  • It was an infraction-filled affair as the teams combined for 10 minor penalties. The penalties certainly played a role as two powerplay goals were scored by the Blackhawks and one by the Canucks. It’s also worth noting that J.T. Miller had 3 minor penalties himself, which is obviously less than ideal for a player who has rightfully built up a lot of good will so far this season.
  • Markstrom had an up-and-down game, facing 35 shots and allowing three goals. The goals allowed came off an odd shot, a tic-tac-toe play on the man advantage and a screen. If there’s one he may want back, it could be the Debrincat goal, but I’m not holding that against him.
  • Eriksson logged 7:31 of ice time and none of it came on the PK. It will be interesting to see if Travis Green looks at him as the odd man out to get Sven Baertschi in on the back to back against the Jets.

 

Top Performers

  • In a night that didn’t see many players stand out, Pettersson was able to do so with the bank pass off Miller, who essentially turned himself into a backboard for Pettersson.
  • Miller’s performance was a bit of a mixed bag tonight. He finished with a goal and was one of the more memorable Canucks, but taking three penalties in a game makes him a polarizing figure in this one.
  • Virtanen has quietly put together a solid string of games and was one of the better Canucks tonight, tipping in a late point shot off an Edler shot.
  • Stecher took the additional ice time from the Tanev injury and made good use of it. He finished with 5 shots, 3 hits, 2 blocks and the best 5 on 5 Corsi share.