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game recap

Jonathan Toews lifts Blackhawks to third straight win

Chicago captain scores goal, three assists to help defeat Canucks

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews hasn't played like himself much this season, but the Chicago Blackhawks captain came through in the clutch at United Center on Sunday.

Led by Toews' season-high four points, which included a goal with 1:18 left to break a tie, the Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 for their third straight win.

Toews had three assists and right wing Richard Panik had a goal and assist to lead Chicago (30-14-5).


WATCH: All Canucks vs. Blackhawks highlights


"I guess it's easy to start second-guessing everything when you're not scoring," said Toews, who now has eight goals and 26 points in 40 games. "Even a game like tonight where I don't even feel like I played that great and [I'm] on the ice for a handful of goals. It doesn't really matter. It just gives you a good feeling and it's easy to come to the rink and just kind of build off that."

Panik's shot late in the third period sailed wide of the net and led to Toews' game-winning goal at 18:42. The puck caromed off the end boards to Toews, who scored his first goal since Jan. 6 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa also scored, and Corey Crawford made 26 saves to become the fourth goalie in Blackhawks history to win 200 NHL career games.

Ryan Miller made 31 saves for the Canucks (22-20-6), who tied it 2-2 on goals 46 seconds apart in the third by Troy Stecher and Bo Horvat. Stecher capped a power play with a long shot through traffic at 5:03 and Horvat scored at 5:49 off his own rebound.

Video: VAN@CHI: Kane picks the corner with nice wrister

Vancouver fell to 5-14-3 on the road.

"I think we've got confidence," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It's not like when we're on the road we're not confident; we're the same as when we're at home. It would have been nice to get this one for sure. This is a tough building and we knew it would be a tough game to get points in."

The Blackhawks outshot the Canucks 18-9 in the first period and took a 2-0 lead on goals by Panik and Kane, who scored 3:03 apart.

Panik scored his 11th goal with a one-timer from the high slot to make it 1-0 at 14:27. Kane made it 2-0 at 17:30 by scoring his 15th goal with a quick wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.

The back-to-back goals by Stecher and Horvat tied it early in the third, when the Canucks outshot the Blackhawks 7-2 through the first 6:25 of the period.

Video: VAN@CHI: Campbell sets up Panik, notches 500th point


Goal of the game 

Toews cruised up the left wing on a rush late in the third period and found himself in the right place at the right time to score the game-winner.

Video: VAN@CHI: Toews capitalizes on bounce for late lead

Save of the game 

The Canucks pressed for a go-ahead goal late in the third period and nearly got it with 6:12 left. But Crawford prevented it by stopping a quick shot from the slot by Michael Chaput, just getting his left pad out in time.


Unsung performance of the game

Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked three shots, had a plus-2 rating and assisted on Toews' goal by giving the puck to Panik for a rush up the right wing.


Highlight of the game 

Horvat's goal in the third was the result of his own second effort. He charged to the net for the initial attempt and was stopped by Crawford's sprawling save. Horvat stayed after it and tied it 2-2 on the rebound for his 14th goal.

"We battled back hard and we did everything we could," said Sven Baertschi, who brought the puck into the Blackhawks zone. "Bo tied it there with a great goal for us. It gave us some energy."

Video: VAN@CHI: Horvat scores on second effort in crease


They said it

"It's painful. We lose points. We needed this one to get back in the playoffs [race], so it was a tough one to lose." -- Canucks captain Henrik Sedin


"I felt pretty good tonight, but there's still some work to do. I don't think I'm at the level I was at before that surgery, but I'm working hard to get there." -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford on his play following an appendectomy Dec. 3


Need to know 

Marcus Kruger (hand) missed his 10th straight game. He participated in the Blackhawks' morning skate and could return this week. … Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell's assist on Panik's goal was his 500th NHL point. … Including Stanley Cup Playoff games, the Blackhawks had their 400th consecutive sellout at United Center. … Former Blackhawks forward Jeremy Roenick took the ice in uniform for the national anthems as part of Chicago's "One Last Shift" commemoration series.


What's next

Canucks: At the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SNP, ALT, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; CSN, SUN, NHL.TV)


Video: Toews' late goal powers Hawks past Canucks, 4-2

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