NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Vancouver
(Tuesday, October 18th)
Final Score: Vancouver 6, Chicago 2
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Mattias Ohlund scored twice and Brendan Morrison registered a goal and two assists, as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-2, at GM Place.
Daniel Sedin, Sami Salo and Markus Naslund also scored for the Canucks, who used three power-play goals to record their third straight victory. Todd Bertuzzi, who plays on the Canucks' top line along with Naslund and Morrison, notched three assists in the victory. The trio, which was publicly challenged earlier in the day by Vancouver coach Marc Crawford, combined for seven points. Goaltender Dan Cloutier allowed two goals on 26 shots in the victory.
"Going into to the game, I knew I had to step it up," Morrison said. "There's no sense hanging your head about it. You've got to go out and do the little things and help the team win. Last game I felt good, but didn't get too many chances. It feels good to get the first one. I knew it's only a matter of time before I notched my first goal and got a few points."
Martin Lapointe and Pavel Vorobiev scored for Chicago, which ended a four-game road trip with a 1-3 mark and will now return home to face Minnesota on Sunday. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 19 shots in the losing effort. Chicago has dropped four of its last five games overall.
Following a scoreless first period, Vancouver broke the game open with three goals in the opening 6:03 of the second stanza.
"We came out pretty strong and the game was pretty even for the first period. Then we went and took a bunch of penalties and it killed us," said Chicago's Matthew Barnaby. "We can't be giving teams that many opportunities on the power play and expect to be successful. It's something we'll need to work if we want to get better."
After Sedin gave the Canucks the lead just over two minutes in with a wrist shot through traffic from the right circle, Ohlund's first goal of the contest made it 2-0.
Skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, the Canucks worked the puck around the zone before Anson Carter held it along the goal line to the left of Khabibulin. Carter then slid a pass out to the left circle and Ohlund's one-timer found the back of the net at 4:23.
Less than two minutes later, another power-play marker made it a 3-0 margin. Salo wound up from the centerpoint and blasted a slap shot that deflected off Chicago forward Jim Dowd's stick and into the cage.
With 10:30 to play in the second stanza, the Blackhawks cut their deficit to two, courtesy of a Vorobiev power-play tally. Jaroslav Spacek corralled the puck along the right half-wall and made a crisp cross-ice pass to Vorobiev, who quickly turned around and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Cloutier to the far side.
With just over seven minutes to play in the middle frame, Ohlund's second goal of the game and third of the season allowed the hosts to regain their three- goal advantage. Morrison made a nifty pass into the high slot where Ohlund rifled the disc home.
"It's nice to contribute," Ohlund said. "We've been getting a lot of points from the defensemen so far. It's just nice to help out."
Lapointe's goal on the power play just 3:23 into the third period gave a bit of life to the Blackhawks. However, less than five minutes later the Canucks three-goal lead was once again restored on a great effort from defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who earlier had been swiped up high inadvertently by Barnaby's stick.
With Brent Seabrook in the penalty box for hooking, Khabibulin faced a flurry of shots and after a nice save from in close, Chicago had a chance to clear the puck. However, the intended clear was kept in the zone nicely by Jovanovski, who quickly found Morrison near the low left circle. Morrison faked and went to his backhand before beating Khabibulin up high for his first goal of 2005-2006 at the 8:15 mark.
Naslund's goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation capped the scoring.
The Canucks will conclude their current four-game homestand with a game against Phoenix on Thursday before hosting Colorado on Saturday. That game could be filled with penalties and fisticuffs, as it will mark the first time that the Avalanche will face the Canucks since the events of March 8, 2004. In that game, of course, Bertuzzi blind-sided Steve Moore and his attack resulted in an indefinite suspension that was lifted prior to this season.
This marked Ohlund's first multi-goal game since January 17, 2002...Salo is now second in the league in among defensemen (Toronto's Bryan McCabe) with three goals five assists...Chicago defenseman Adrian Aucoin returned after missing four games with a groin injury. Aucoin played over 20 minutes and recorded an assist on the Vorobiev goal...The Hawks have now dropped six straight games in Vancouver, which improved to 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings between these teams...The Canucks were 3-for-10 on the power play. Chicago ended 2-for-5 with the extra skater.
10/19 02:16:08 ET