After a tough loss to the Blues two nights ago, the Canucks packed their bags for yet another road trip rolling into the Windy City. The Canucks stuck with the same lineup as Tuesday, meaning Oscar Fantenberg and Sven Baertschi had to wait another day to make their season debuts. Chicago came into this one as the lowest producing offence with 33 goals. The Canucks have the most man-advantages in the league with 64. This has given Quinn Hughes plenty of practice working his magic QB’ing the 1st PP unit after starting the season on the 2nd PP unit. Jacob Markstrom got the start in net, with Thatcher Demko likely getting the start tomorrow in Winnipeg. Could the Canucks emerge victorious or would they have the dreaded Chelsea Dagger ringing in their ears? Here is tonight’s game recap.
- The Blackhawks opened the scoring just over six and a half minutes into the game as Alex DeBrincat managed to get enough on a puck as he was hauled down to beat a surprised Jacob Markstrom blocker side
- Just over 12 minutes later, Andrew Shaw finished off a tic-tac-goal play down low for a PP marker
- The Canucks got one back just over a minute into the 2nd period as JT Miller tipped home a centering feed by Elias Pettersson for a PP goal
- The Blackhawks added a goal with just over 5 minutes left in the game as Patrick Kane wired a rocket from the point for a PP goal
- Just over three minutes later, David Kampf showed some deft curling skills striking the puck on his own side of center with just enough weight and accuracy to hit the empty net and count for a short-handed marker
- Just over a minute later, Jake Virtanen tipped home a point shot by Alex Edler
- Just under a minute later, Brandon Saad scored on the empty net to really put the game away
- Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 of 35 shots
- Final score: Blackhawks 5 Canucks 2
- The Canucks had a couple of injury scares tonight. In the second period, Jacob Markstrom caught a puck up near his collarbone. The refs gave him a few minutes to catch his breath. Markstrom was able to finish the game. Chris Tanev, however, was not able to finish the game.. He left in the second period and did not return. With the short turnaround, look for Oscar Fantenberg to make his regular season Canucks debut.
- Jacob Markstrom had a fairly strong game stopping 32 of 35 shots. He kept the Canucks in it until he was pulled for the extra attacker. Marlstrom didn’t really have a chance on any of the goals, though I suppose he could have anticipated a shot on the 1st goal
- Special teams played a big role in this one. The Canucks penalty killers gave up a pair of power play goals, including one just seconds into a PP. The Canucks PP unit struck once, but also gave u[ a short-handed goal when they were pressing to tie the game.
- Sven Baertschi might finally get a chance to play tomorrow. Loui Eriksson saw just seven and a half minutes of ice time and was largely ineffective, save for three shots on goal. Adam Gaudette might also come out of the lineup. He played 8:55 tonight. However, Gaudette assisted on the Virtanen goals.
- The Canucks won 66% of the faceoffs, led by Bo Horvat (who won 70% of the draws he took. JT Miller (67% success rate), Jay Beagle (67% success rate) and Brandon Sutter (57% suscess rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
- The Canucks outhit the Blackhawks 29-23, led by Beagle, Gaudette, Tyler Myers and Troy Stetcher, who all had 3 hits
- The Canucks blocked 13 shots, led by Alex Edler, who blocked 4 shots
- Up next, the Canucks head north to Winnipeg to face a rested Jets team that has won 8 straight games against the Canucks and 12 of their last 13 vs. the Canucks. The only game the Canucks won in that span was December 20, 2017. Yours truly was at that game. The only Canucks remaining from that team are Sven Baertschi, Bo Horvat, Chris Tanev, Brandon Sutter, Troy Stetcher, and Jacob Markstrom. Sutter, Stetcher, Baertschi (maybe) and Horvat are likely to be the only ones to play tomorrow night. Thatcher Demko is expected to start tomorrow with the Canucks playing every other night next week starting Sunday against New Jersey.