Skip to main content

Canucks top Blackhawks 2-1 in shootout

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- Jordan Schroeder still doesn't have an NHL goal, but the Vancouver Canucks' rookie does have a game-decider.

Schroeder scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round, slipping the puck between Corey Crawford's legs to lift the Canucks to a 2-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

"I have no idea how it works," Schroeder said when asked if he gets credit for a deciding goal. "It doesn't matter as long as the team wins. It would be nice to get one but you have to continue to do the little things right to stay out on the ice and gain the coach's trust."

Schroeder, a first-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, was playing just his sixth NHL game, and has already earned enough of that trust to get a chance in the shootout after the Canucks lost two of their first three. Vancouver had only converted two of 13 chances before his five-hole shot trickled towards the line, finally knocked over off the goalie's stick as he spun around and reached back for it.

"We have been working on it. I knew my name would get called," Schroeder said of a post-practice shootout session on Thursday that included shooting instructions from goaltending coach Roland Melanson. "I wanted to go in with some speed wide. I came back to the middle and changed my pace of speed. I froze him. He opened up the five-hole a little bit and it trickled through."

Nothing got through at the other end as Roberto Luongo continued a hot streak that has seen him reclaim his starting job from Cory Schneider. Starting a third straight game and coming off a shutout of Colorado on Wednesday, Luongo made 27 saves through the end of overtime before stopping Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy for his first shootout win in three chances.

"Sometimes you get in a rhythm. You are seeing the puck and getting bounces," Luongo after the Blackhawks hit two posts and defenseman Dan Hamhuis fished another puck off the goal line behind him. "When you're in that zone, you want to keep it going as long as possible."

It's hard to imagine Luongo, whose save percentage is up to .944 after losing his job to Schneider early in last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, won't get another chance to play again Monday in Edmonton. Then again, few expected that Luongo would still be in Vancouver; even he was surprised to get a second straight start Wednesday against Colorado, which kick-started his hot streak.

"You always take pride in the way you play, no matter what the circumstances are," he said. "It's an honor and a privilege to be playing in the NHL so you don't want to take that stuff for granted. You want to give your best and that's what I am doing."

The Blackhawks have been doing the same early this season, winning their first six games before dropping the last two in shootouts.

"It's tough to lose in a shootout, it's something I've got to be better in, the team as well," said Kane, who tied the game midway through the third after a nice cross-crease pass from Andrew Shaw. "I thought in the third we played well, it seemed like we were all over them, but they are a tough team, they're always going to be a big rival and come out to play hard against us, especially in their building."

The Hawks may have lost more than the extra point -- second-line center David Bolland left the game early in the third period. He appeared to get hit by the stick of a spinning Jannik Hansen, breaking his stick in frustration as he tried to get to the bench and needing help to get to the locker room, hunched over and hobbling the whole way.

"It's lower body, we'll get a better assessment tomorrow," coach Joel Quenneville said, dismissing a possible slash. "I saw the replay, it was nothing. He got hit with a stick but no complaints."

Quenneville also had no complaints about his slumping power play, though it went 0-for-5 and failed to register a shot on a 4-on-3 opportunity for the final 1:11 of overtime.

"I didn't mind the way we played," Quenneville said when asked about the man advantage, pointing out the Canucks also failed on three straight, including a 40-second 5-on-3 in the third period.

"We've gotten some overtime games now, a couple tough endings, but at the same time you get points you are putting yourself in a good spot," he continued. "But I like the way we played start to finish. I measure our team game by what we give up and I was very happy."

Neither team surrendered much in this battle of bitter rivals.

Alexander Edler opened the scoring with 4:18 left in the first period, starting a rush by outskating two Chicago forecheckers to get out of his own end before finishing it two passes later when he got the puck back in the high slot and fired it over Crawford's shoulder.

Vancouver was fortunate to escape the period with the lead. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, booed every time he touched the puck because of the high hit that concussed Daniel Sedin late last season, fired a shot off both posts with 3:40 left in the period.

Brandon Saad beat Edler wide, drawing a penalty as he cut to the net and slipped the puck between Luongo's legs, but the whistle went before Hamhuis fished it off the goal line with 1:35 left.

Luongo had to turn away Saad alone in tight after walking past Edler again early in the second, getting a piece of his shot with the glove. He flashed the leather on a good Bryan Bickell chance from the top of the left circle off a rush with 6:31 left in the period.

Things are going so well right now for Luongo, who expected to be traded before the season started, that even old rivals are saluting him.

"He's a great competitor and to be honest with you I'm happy to see him doing well, he just seems like a really good guy and has a lot of respect for the game," Kane said. "It's one of those things where it's kind of like I like playing against him and I'm sure he likes going up against me and our team, and he played great tonight again. He had some big saves, he's a great goaltender and I'm happy for him."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.