The last time these teams met, the Vancouver Canucks put a season high six goals behind Corey Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks. He got the start again on Sunday as Ryan Miller got the call for Vancouver. Marian Hossa started his 1200th NHL game, an impressive feat.
Blackhawks Strike First
After some slick passing in the Canucks zone, Duncan Keith rifled home his fifth goal of the season past Ryan Miller on the power play. That put Chicago ahead with 8:09 left in the first period. Patrick Kane got an assist on Keith's goal to extend his point streak to 26 games. That moved him into sole possession of the longest point streak by any active player. Sidney Crosby had the previous longest streak of 25 games in the 2010-11 season.
Mere seconds after that, the Sedin twins put good pressure on the Chicago defense and almost had a puck dribble across the goal line to even the score. Keith was able to get a stick on it however, and knocked away their tying effort. The Canucks continued to apply a ton of pressure, hemming Chicago in their own zone for most of the remaining time in the period. Vancouver would create many good scoring chances, but couldn't get the puck past Crawford, who made eight saves. The shots were tied at eight a piece after the first.
Second Period Yields No Goals
Vancouver got a power play five minutes into the second period and held the puck inside the blue line for most of the two minutes. They had many good chances, but again came away empty. Andrew Shaw tried to bust in around big defenseman Ben Hutton of Vancouver, but clipped him in the face with his stick. That put Vancouver back on the power play, just one minute after the first penalty expired. That power play too produced nothing but a work load for Crawford, who made multiple big stops. The teams traded chances back and forth as time expired in the second period, but the score would end the same as it was entering the period at 1-0 for Chicago.
Chicago Cruises In Final Period
Vancouver is 0-10-1 when trailing going into the third period, a bad omen as they entered the period down a goal. Chicago built on their lead, making the hill harder to climb when Bryan Bickell came streaking in on a three on one and squeaked the puck under Miller's arm. Dennis Rasmussen would push it across the goal line to make it 2-0. Vancouver thought they answered back when Henrik Sedin popped in a loose puck, but it was deemed no goal because of a hand pass by his twin brother Daniel Sedin.
Vancouver pulled the goalie with 1:30 left in the period for the extra attacker, trying to solve Crawford. Despite their effort, they would get nothing as Andrew Shaw found the back of the empty net with :31 seconds left on the clock to make it 3-0. A faceoff deep in the Vancouver end would give way to a rebound that lead to Brandon Mashinter's first career NHL goal to finish off the scoring and the Canucks by a final of 4-0.
Corey Crawford gets back to back shut outs for the second time this season and Chicago is now on a four game win streak. Crawford collects his 16th career shutout, while stopping 30 shots. Vancouver is the worst faceoff team in the NHL and it showed tonight. The Canucks went just 35% in the dot and got blanked on the power play on three attempts.