Saad and Toews score, but Blackhawks fall 4-2 to Canucks

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The Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford leads all NHL goalies with 13 defeats. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Jake Virtanen scored twice and Brendan Gaunce got the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to lead the Vancouver Canucks past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Antoine Roussel also scored for the Canucks, and Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves. It was the first career two-goal game for Virtanen, a 22-year-old right wing.

Gaunce also had an assist in his first game with the Canucks this season. He was called up Tuesday from the Utica Comets of the AHL to help fill out a roster riddled by injuries early this season.

Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford turned away 24 shots.

Chicago got on the scoreboard first with Saad scoring his third of the season midway through the first period.

The left wing beat Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson in Vancouver’s end and put a hard shot on net. Markstrom seemed to get a piece of it but the puck trickled in underneath him.

Virtanen responded in the 15th minute after the Blackhawks turned over the puck in the neutral zone. He picked up speed on a breakaway and put a high shot past Crawford.

The Blackhawks went back on top with a power-play goal early in the second after Canucks defenseman Michael Del Zotto took a cross-checking penalty late in the first.

Toews fired in a wrister from the top of the faceoff circle to give him 299 goals for the Blackhawks, sixth-most in franchise history.

Chicago is 30th in the NHL on the power play. Wednesday marked the sixth time this season the Blackhawks have scored with the man advantage.

Virtanen followed with his second of the night just more than 12 minutes into the second period. He scooped up a pass just inside the blue line and fired a quick shot past Crawford to tie it 2-all.

Virtanen has five goals and two assists this season.

Gaunce scored at 9:23 of the third after he snatched up a Blackhawks pass. The goal was the sixth of his NHL career, with the last one coming on Feb. 1. He also assisted on Roussel’s late goal.

NOTES: Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher went flying in the third period after colliding with Chicago’s Brandon Manning in the Vancouver end. Stecher went to the dressing room after being looked at by a trainer on the ice. The team is already missing a number of players, including defenseman Alex Edler, goalie Anders Nilsson and left wing Sven Baertschi.

UP NEXT

Blackhawks: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Canucks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in the finale of a four-game homestand.

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