RECAP: Blackhawks ride the storm out, top Canucks 5-2


Following a less than stellar road trip, the Chicago Blackhawks returned to chilly Chicago to take on the Vancouver Canucks. A surprise team out of the gate this year, the Canucks came into tonight’s contest with 21 points and a 9–3–3 record, good for second-place in the Pacific Division behind another surprise team, the Edmonton Oilers. The Blackhawks have also been a surprise this season, but not in the good ways that Edmonton and Vancouver have been.

Jeremy Colliton went with Corey Crawford in net against Vancouver. Crawford came into the game with a career 8–5–4 record, .912 save percentage and 2.59 GAA in 18  regular season games against the Canucks. The lineup was without Dominik Kubalík for the first time this season, and Slater Koekkoek was the other healthy scratch on the night. The lines and pairings were as follows:

Brandon Saad Jonathan ToewsAlexander Nylander

Alex DeBrincat Dylan StromePatrick Kane

Drake CaggiulaKirby DachAndrew Shaw

Zack Smith David Kampf Ryan Carpenter

Duncan Keith Erik Gustafsson

Calvin de Haan Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta Adam Boqvist

1st Period

The Blackhawks got the first five minutes of the game off on the right foot, out-shooting and out-pacing the Canucks with consistent pressure and pucks on net from every angle. Chicago surpassed their shot total from Tuesday night’s first period against the San Jose Sharks (3) within the first four minutes of action.

Chicago’s efforts were rewarded in the form of a highlight-reel goal from Alex DeBrincat 6:41 into the opening period.

Falling between a trio of Canucks defenders, DeBrincat threw the puck on net in desperation and it beat Jacob Markstrom for the 1–0 tally, his fifth goal of the season. With the goal, DeBrincat passed Ed Olczyk for the 5th most career even strength goals by a Blackhawks player before turning 22 years old with 52 goals, according to TSN Statscentre. 

Chicago was able to continue the early momentum, turning the tables from Tuesday and putting 15 shots on net to the Canucks’ three shots, through the first 13 minutes of the game.

Duncan Keith nearly put the Blackhawks up by two, but passed up a wide open opportunity to pass to David Kampf, who had to reach well behind him to get the puck and his shot was ultimately blocked before reaching the net.

As the period wound down, the Blackhawks found themselves on the powerplay late. Andrew Shaw found himself some ice in the middle of the Vancouver penalty-kill and a tic-tac-toe setup from Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome gave the Blackhawks the 2–0 lead on Shaw’s third goal of the season.

The period ended with the Blackhawks on the penalty-kill and the shots on goal even at 17–17, but the score 2–0 in favor of Chicago.

2nd Period

With just over a minute of a penalty-kill left on the clock to begin the period, the Blackhawks were unable to hold the two-goal lead as the Canucks got on the board with the man-advantage on a J.T. Miller goal right on the doorstep. Miller’s seventh goal of the season made it a 2–1 game with 18:57 to play in the second period.

Arguably, there could have been a review for a kicking motion on the goal, but the puck was deemed to have gone off Miller’s stick. Just a few minutes later, Markstrom made a pair of point-blank saves on Jonathan Toews to keep Vancouver in the game early on in the second period.

Unlike the beginning of the first period, Corey Crawford was forced to make a number of high-danger saves in the second period to keep the Blackhawks one-goal lead alive to the mid-way point of the period. At one point in the game, Chicago led in shots on goal with a 14–3 lead, at the mid-way point of the game, the Canucks had taken the shots on goal lead with 27 to Chicago’s 25.

Book-ending the second period with penalties to kill, Strome took a slashing penalty with just over three minutes remaining in the period. Chicago would be able to kill off the short-handed time and head to the second intermission still holding the 2-1 lead. Shots on goal through two periods favored the Canucks by a 29–27 mark.

3rd Period

The Blackhawks took the ice in the third period to the tune of REO Speedwagon’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out.” While that it is a rocking song, not quite the energy that Chicago may want to channel with a one-goal lead at home.

Jacob Markstrom had an interesting night in between the pipes for the Canucks and nearly had an empty net chance allowed as he went on his second adventure of the game going to play the puck, but the Blackhawks were unable to convert. Drake Caggiula was able to draw a Canucks penalty near the mid-way point of the third period to try to give Chicago a bit of momentum on the powerplay, but nothing would come of it except for a scoring chance for Vancouver.

Truly riding the storm out through the third period, the Blackhawks were on their heels for most of the twenty minutes of action, despite having multiple powerplay chances. But it would be Kane firing a shot from the top of the left circle on the man-advantage that would get by Markstrom and give the Blackhawks a 3–1 lead with just over five minutes to play in regulation. The powerplay tally would tie Kane with Denis Savard for fifth-most powerplay goals (101) by a Blackhawks player 30-years old or younger.

The second powerplay goal of the night marked the first multi-powerplay goal night for the Blackhawks this season. It was also Kane’s fifth goal of the season and his third point on the night. All good things.

David Kampf would get an empty-net goal to make it a 4–1 game and then the Canucks would add a 4–2 goal from ‘Shotgun’ Jake Virtanen with just over a minute to play and in the final moments of the game Brandon Saad added another empty-net goal to finally finish off Vancouver for a 5–2 win.

Blackhawks getting their third regulation win of the season and fifth win of the season. Crawford made 36 saves on 38 shots faced and improved his record to 2–4–1 this season with a .900 save percentage.


  • With the powerplay goal in the first period, the Blackhawks have now scored at least one powerplay goal in three of the their last four games. Chicago holds a 14.6 powerplay percentage this season, good for 23rd in the NHL. Tonight marked the first time since December 9, 2018 that the Blackhawks had at least six powerplay chances in a game.


  • Despite the win, it was another night where the Blackhawks were out-shot and out-chanced by their opposition. With the offense not scoring at the same clip it was last season behind career-best years from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Chicago will need to shore up this aspect of their game if they are going to right the ship.

Finally, some postgame fun from Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw, messing with the local media.

The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action on Saturday night as they travel to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drop on Saturday is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.


Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks ride the storm out, top Canucks 5-2

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