(MCT) — CHICAGO — Three times the Blackhawks broke in alone on Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider during the opening period. Three times they came away empty.
For a while, it appeared that for the first time all season maybe it wouldn’t be the Hawks’ night as they faced their archrivals Tuesday night at the United Center.
Yeah, forget that.
The Hawks wobbled but came away with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Canucks and in the process made a little history. With their 16th consecutive game to start the season without a regulation loss, the Hawks equaled the Ducks’ 2006 league record. At 13-0-3, the Hawks have captured 29 of a possible 32 points.
Andrew Shaw scored the game-winner in the shootout, Marian Hossa had two goals and Patrick Sharp also scored in regulation to provide the offense. Ray Emery earned the victory in goal despite yielding two scores late in the third period to send the game to overtime.
“It’s probably not the way we’d want to pull that one out but give credit to our team to respond after they tied it up,” Sharp said. “We have to find a way to tighten things up late in games, whether it’s to be more disciplined, staying out of the box or whatever it may be. Credit to the guys, we pulled out the win and we can feel good about it.”
The loss could prove costly as Hossa took a forearm to the back of the head from the Canucks’ Jannik Hansen in the third period and did not return. Hossa suffered a serious concussion during the playoffs last season and was not cleared to play until mid-November. The Hawks were already without the services of defenseman Brent Seabrook, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks in regulation but it wasn’t enough as Schneider couldn’t stop Patrick Kane and Shaw in the shootout.
The game had a postseason-like feel with physical play and a heart-pulsing pace that included five breakaways during a span of 7 minutes, 41 seconds in the first.
“There were some big hits out there — some questionable hits on both sides,” Sharp said. “That’s to be expected when these two teams face each other. There’s obviously a lot of bad blood.”
Said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville: “It was an amazing pace. When you play Vancouver the pace is as good as there is in the game. It was an exciting hockey game as far as the quantity and quality of chances at both ends.”
The Hawks will look to set the record to start a season Friday night when they face the Sharks at the United Center.
“It’s a remarkable start,” Quenneville said. “Guys should be proud of the achievement and where they’re at.
“Especially in a 48-game season, it has put us in a real good spot.”