VANCOUVER, British Columbia —The Blackhawks-Canucks rivalry isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it’s really not much of anything at all these days. Those three straight playoff series, full of drama and vitriol, were two Stanley Cups ago for the Hawks, and many of the key characters from those series are on other teams now.
But the Sedin twins are still in Vancouver, and they’re still awfully good.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin combined for four goals and five assists as the Canucks beat the Hawks 6-3 to hand them their first regulation loss in five games. Daniel had a hat trick, and Henrik had a goal and four primary assists, as Corey Crawford surrendered five goals on the first 18 shots he faced.
“They obviously had their way out there tonight,” said Patrick Kane, who extended his career-high point streak to 16 games with a secondary assist. “It’s disappointing. I actually thought we played pretty well for most of the game and controlled most of the game.”
Indeed, the Hawks got a goal and an assist from Jonathan Toews and had a better effort than their last two games — an overtime win at Edmonton and an overtime loss at Calgary —but against a desperate Canucks team that had lost seven of its last eight games, it wasn’t enough. After Artem Anisimov tied the game at 3-3 at 12:20 of the third, Daniel Sedin scored two quick goals, both set up by his brother, and Alex Burrows added an empty-netter in the final minute.
“It was twice as good,” Joel Quenneville said of his team’s effort. “We gave up half the chances we did in the last two games. But the wrong guys got the chances.”
Toews and Henrik Sedin traded power play goals early in the first period, with Sedin’s coming with two seconds left in a 5-on-3 power play midway through the first period. Jannik Hansen and Ryan Garbutt traded goals less than a minute apart later in the period. It was Garbutt’s first goal with the Hawks, and it came on a new-look top line with Toews and Andrew Shaw, which Quenneville raved about after the game.
But with Garbutt in the box for hooking at 7:22 of the second period, Duncan Keith whiffed on a clearing attempt while he was challenged by Henrik Sedin, and Sedin slipped the puck to Daniel Sedin all alone in the slot for a 3-2 Canucks lead. The Hawks pressed hard in the third, and finally tied it at 12:20 when Anisimov put in a Trevor Daley rebound.
But then the Sedins took over, and just like that, the game was over. The Hawks now have three days off, and will enjoy a quick trip to Las Vegas to break up the 12-night circus trip before starting up again Wednesday in San Jose.
“The last five minutes, throw them in the garbage can,” Quenneville said. “But I liked our game.”