Blackhawks score twice in nine seconds, win in Vancouver 2-1 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Blackhawks score twice in nine seconds, win in Vancouver 2-1

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Blackhawks outlasted the Canucks and skated out of Vancouver with a hard fought 2-1 win Saturday night. It was the first meeting of the season for these intense rivals but this game felt a bit different. The Canucks play a different type of game now for new head coach John Tortorella. In some ways Vancouver isn't the same but the victory must have been as sweet for Corey Crawford and his mates.

Crawford took over the game after the Hawks got the lead by scoring two times in a nine second span. That successful burst inspired the Canucks as they followed with their best charge of the night. As Crawford has done so often this season he gave his club a chance to win. Crawford allowed only one goal which came on a five on three power play. After that he held down the fort and when needed in the late going saved the day.

Vancouver is not as deep of a club as in years past and they were coming off a Friday night game. The Sedin twins along with Ryan Kesler had more ice time than any other forwards. The Sedins played over 25 minutes and Kesler logged 23:39 of ice time. The Canucks played a solid structure and were the more efficient club for much of the game. In the end the better, deeper team, with a goaltender who would not be denied won out.

Andrew Shaw made some mistakes and took a bad penalty which allowed the Canucks to have a two man advantage that led to their goal. Shaw made up for his miscues by being the only Blackhawk to consistently hinder Luongo. It was Shaw who redirected a Patrick Kane backhand pass that beat Luongo for the Hawks opening goal. Shaw and Kane recorded five shots each to lead the team.

Shaw's tally was exactly the type of goal his team needed. Luongo played well and was stopping everything. Basically Luongo was seeing the puck as the Hawks couldn't get much traffic to the net, except for Shaw. After Shaw's goal the Canucks had a defensive breakdown and Marcus Kruger made them pay. Kruger looked like a confident scorer as he put a well placed shot through Luongo's five hole for the winning goal.

Duncan Keith had an excellent game despite his partner Brent Seabrook looking sluggish until the late going. Joel Quenneville played his fourth line a lot in the final moments. In particular, Ben Smith had a very good effort and Quenneville must have thought the same.

Smith recorded a hefty 17:36 of ice time with 2:01 coming while the Hawks were shorthanded. Quenneville has shown a lot of confidence in Smith and that bodes well for him. Michal Handzus was activated and could be playing soon. Smith has earned more ice time and most likely will being staying in the lineup when Handzus returns.

Quenneville will sort out the playing time as his squad prepares for a week which will feature four games in six days. First the Blackhawks will travel to Edmonton for a Monday night encounter.

Crawford played so well Quenneville could be reluctant to give the net to rookie Antti Raanta. Although it seems like it, Crawford can't play in every game. My thinking is Quenneville may want to give the rookie a couple of starts this week.

Three games down and four to go on the circus road trip. The Blackhawks are in a position to have a winning trip if they take care of business in the next two games. Edmonton and Calgary can't be taken lightly but they aren't playoff caliber teams.

Al's Shots

The Hawks won 57% of the faceoffs on Saturday.

Everyone except for Shaw was over 50% at the dot.

Smith led the team by winning 5 of 7 draws for 71%.

Keith led all Hawks with 24:39 of ice time.

You can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia and I will be back on Tuesday morning.

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