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NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Chicago

(Thursday, January 5th)

Final Score: Vancouver 3, Chicago 2

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jarkko Ruutu's penalty shot conversion with 2:02 left in the third turned out to be the difference as the Vancouver Canucks held off a late Chicago rally to down the Blackhawks 3-2 at United Center.

Markus Naslund and Nolan Baumgartner also scored for the Canucks, who snapped both a three-game overall and road losing streak. Alex Auld made 26 saves in the win. Kevin Bieksa picked up an assist on Naslund's goal to record his first career point.

"Auld made some crucial saves tonight, especially at the end to preserve the win," said Canucks head coach Marc Crawford.

Tuomo Ruutu and Martin Lapointe scored for the Blackhawks, who lost for the ninth game in a row. Ruutu also had an assist while Craig Anderson allowed three goals on 17 shots faced as Chicago dropped its sixth straight game at home.

Down 1-0 in the middle frame, the Canucks netted two goals in a 70-second span to take a lead.

Vancouver tied the contest in the second at 1-1 with a short-handed goal. Down a man, Henrik Sedin ripped a shot from the point that Anderson stopped. However, Baumgartner fought through a Chicago defender to slip the rebound home at the 6:22 mark of the frame.

The Canucks went up 2-1 just 1:10 later. Todd Bertuzzi started the scoring play after ripping a shot on net that Anderson turned aside. Bieksa also got his stick on the disc before the puck found its way to the slot. Naslund pounced on the rebound and fired it into the net for the tally.

Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows had a penalty shot attempt early in the third, but his shot was turned aside by Anderson. The Canucks though, had a second penalty shot try with 2:02 remaining.

After getting hauled down on a breakaway, Jarkko Ruutu skated in on the penalty shot, lifted his leg, dropped his shoulder and fired the puck past Anderson for the tally.

"I took away the five hole to keep it from being a soft goal," said Anderson of the tally. "He went to the back hand, I tried to react but I was a little too far out."

The goal proved to be big as Chicago netted a tally with 1:37 remaining to make it a one-point contest. Tuomo Ruutu stopped a clearing attempt along the right boards and he found Lapointe alone in the high slot. The winger then fired the disc past an unset Auld for the goal.

Tuomo Ruutu had staked the Blackhawks to an early 1-0 lead in the first. After a steal in the neutral zone, Tuomo Ruutu skated into the left circle and unleashed a wrister past Auld's glove side for a 1-0 edge with 7:44 left in the first period.

Game Notes

Naslund's goal was his 22nd of the year...Sedin picked up his 26th assist, while his brother Daniel tallied his 20th helper of the year...Both teams finished 0-for-6 on the power play...It was the first time the Blackhawks allowed two penalty shots in a game...Chicago outshot Vancouver 28-17.

01/05 23:56:49 ET

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