Jordan Schroeder is still looking for his first traditional goal, but he already has a game-winner in the bank.
The 22-year-old Schroeder scored in his first shootout to give the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Schroeder, who hasn’t scored a standard goal in the regular season, fired a low, hard shot that squeaked through the pads of goalie Corey Crawford.
”I wanted to go in with some speed and wide,” Schroeder said. ”I came back to the middle and changed my pace of speed. I froze him. He opened up the five hole a little bit and it trickled through.”
Defenseman Alex Edler scored in regulation for the Canucks (4-2-2).
Patrick Kane had the lone goal for the Blackhawks, who lost their second consecutive in a shootout after starting the season with six victories.
Crawford had stopped Alex Burrows, Zack Kassian and Maxim Lapierre before Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault tapped Schroeder.
The rookie wasn’t totally surprised he was picked.
”We have been working on it,” he said. ”I knew my name would get called. I was fortunate enough to get one and score.”
Vigneault said the Canucks have been practicing the shootout and getting feedback from the goalies and goalie coach Roland Melanson.
”They have been sharing the information on who they feel is better suited to help us out,” Vigneault said. ”We get that information … and make the best decision we can for the team.”
Chicago controlled overtime, outshooting Vancouver 4-1. The Blackhawks were also awarded a power play with 1:11 left when Vancouver defenseman Jason Garrison was called for high-sticking. Chicago, which outshot Vancouver 28-22, was 0 for 5 on the power play.
”It’s tough to lose in a shootout,” Kane said. ”I thought in the third we played pretty well.
”It seemed like we were all over them, but they are a tough team. They’re always going to be a rival and come out to play hard against us, especially in their building.”
The Canucks had a 40-second, 5-on-3 power play in the third period, but didn’t register a shot on goal.
Edler opened the scoring at 15:42 of the first period. The big defenseman took a pass from Kassian and fired a shot past Crawford for his third goal of the season.
Kane tied it at 9:42 of the third. He got the puck from Andrew Shaw and lifted a shot over the stick side of goalie Roberto Luongo, who was falling to the ice. It was Kane’s third goal.
Vancouver’s Mason Raymond had a great scoring chance late in regulation. His hard shot went through Crawford’s pads and slid across the open net.
The Blackhawks used speed and some pretty passing to attack Vancouver. Despite being drawn out of position at times, the Canucks defense forced the Blackhawks to the outside and blocked plenty of shots.
”It was a very tight game, not a lot of room on both sides,” Luongo said. ”We played our system extremely well.
”They were kept to the outside most of the night. I was fighting a little bit to see the puck on some shots but we were tying them up so they weren’t getting any whacks at it.”
Luongo, who stopped 24 shots in a win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, had another solid night. In the second period he gloved a drive from Brandon Saad and calmly blocked a long shot from Dave Bolland.
In the first period, Luongo stopped Marian Hossa on a breakaway and then dragged his leg in front of Brent Seabrook’s drive during a Chicago power play.
”Sometimes you get in a rhythm,” Luongo said. ”You are seeing the puck and getting bounces.
”When you’re in that zone you want to keep it going as long as possible and take advantage of it.”
Luongo also got help when a couple of Blackhawks drives struck goal posts.
Luongo, the goalie the Canucks have been trying to trade since June, made his third consecutive start. Cory Schneider, who was expected to be Vancouver’s No. 1 goalie this season, watched from the bench.
It was also the first meeting between the teams since March 21 when Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith delivered an elbow to Daniel Sedin’s head.
Sedin sustained a concussion and missed the rest of the regular season plus the first three games of the playoffs. Keith was given a five-game suspension.
The crowd booed Keith every time he touched the puck. There was a cheer in the second period when Henrik Sedin bounced Keith into the boards.
The Canucks wore the Vancouver Millionaires ”V” patch on their sweaters to celebrate the team that won the Stanley Cup in 1915 against the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association. … Wes Rypien, brother of former Canucks player Rick Rypien who committed suicide, participated in a ceremonial opening faceoff. … Henrik Sedin played his 900th game with the Canucks. … Canucks grinder Dale Weise played despite missing practice Thursday with a stiff neck. Weise fought Cody McLeod during Vancouver’s 3-0 win Wednesday.