Vancouver finally broke the game two jinx and took a commanding 2-0 series lead after beating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 Friday evening.
Daniel Sedin scored his second goal of the game halfway through the third period as the Canucks fought off three comeback attempts by the Blackhawks.
In their previous two series, Vancouver won the first game only to lose the second. This year things are different.
Jannik Hansen opened the scoring at 7:30 in the first period. Coming out of the penalty box and skating hard into Chicago’s end, he found himself in perfect position in front of the net taking a feed from Daniel Sedin and firing it past Corey Crawford.
Daniel Sedin scored just 30 seconds into the second period, tipping a Christian Ehrhoff shot from the point to put the Canucks up 2-0. The goal came while the Blackhawks found themselves shorthanded due to a tripping penalty by Patrick Sharp that occurred near the end of the first period. Vancouver went 1-for-2 on the power play for the night.
Ben Smith scored his first of the evening, and the Blackhawks first of the series at 14:50 in the second period after tapping a Bryan Bickell pass behind Roberto Luongo. He also made the mistake of leaving his stick unattended in the shooting lane, tipping an Alex Edler point shot past Crawford and into his own net making the score 3-1 for the Canucks.
Smith scored his second of the game with 7:10 left in the third to make it 4-3 but that would be as close as Chicago would get.
Viktor Stalberg also scored for Chicago at 1:56 of the third.
Both goalies played well and made timely saves to keep their respective teams afloat. Luongo won his second game of the series making 23 saves.
Crawford also made 23 saves.
Chicago failed to take advantage of Vancouver’s two penalties, going 0-for-2 on the power play.
Vancouver will look to take a stranglehold on the series heading to Chicago for game 3 Sunday night.
Notes: After losing Tomas Kopecky to a hit in the first game, Chicago’s Bryan Bickell left the game holding his right wrist five minutes into the third and did not return. … Vancouver LW Mikael Samuelsson was a late scratch due to an illness. … Vancouver forward Raffi Torres is eligible to return from a four-game suspension in game 3.