Vancouver Canucks Blow 3-0 Lead, Lose to Chicago Blackhawks in OT

The Vancouver Canucks managed to score first and hold a lead until late in the third period. But the Chicago Blackhawks stormed back to win.

Since the start of the season, everyone has talked about the Vancouver Canucks‘ inability to score first.

The Canucks had only played with lead for just over 45 minutes coming into this game.

Good news! They managed to flip the script, score the first goal and play with a lead for the majority of the game.

Bad news? They flipped the script too hard, and let the other team steal their comeback act.

The Chicago Blackhawks stormed back in the third period to tie the game. After a furious overtime that included a disallowed goal, they stunned the Canucks by winning 4-3.

Comebacks are a lot of fun. Until they happen to you.

Final Score:

ChicagoBlackhawks

4

VancouverCanucks

3

The Goals:

Not only did Vancouver open the scoring, they did so on the power play. In the first period. On a goal from the second power play unit. From Loui Eriksson, to be precise.

What a time to be alive.

Aside from Eriksson, Vancouver’s most valuable player in the first period was the goal post, who robbed Jonathan Toews:

The Blackhawks hit three goalposts in this game.

Vancouver held onto their slim lead until late in the second period, when they managed to extend it. 

With the Hawks on the power play, Alexandre Burrows stole the puck at the Canucks blueline and threw a pass up the middle. Bo Horvat knocked it down and potted the shorty.

It looked pretty, sure. But wait until you hear it in Punjabi:

The Punjabi broadcast team are off the hook — so much fun.

Before the second expired, Vancouver struck again. Brandon Sutter scored his fourth goal in four games. Just like last game, it came off a pretty back pass from a Sedin. This time, it was Henrik Sedin with the setup: 

We all gave Willie Desjardins a hard time for trying to put Sutter on the Sedins’ wing. Maybe he saw something we didn’t.

Either way, the last few games it’s paid off in spades — and in goals. And really, the goals are the important thing here.

Disaster Strikes

How would the Canucks handle taking a 3-0 lead into the third period? 

Poorly, as it turns out.

First, Chicago got on the board on a gorgeous power play goal. Patrick Kane received a nifty pass from Artemi Panarin. Kane quickly returned the favor, and Jacob Markstrom could not recover to stop Panarin’s shot:

Next, Vinnie Hinostroza collected the puck at the Canucks line, walked through Michael Chaput and Alexander Edler and snuck a shot onto Markstrom. After making the save, Marky couldn’t find the rebound, and Hinostroza pulled the Hawks within one:

Edler’s night kept getting worse. Late in the third, he went for a hit at the blueline. He missed the hit, and on the ensuing 2-on-1 Hinostroza found Ryan Hartman to tie the game. 

Instead of cruising to victory, the Canucks gave up the lead and the extra point.

Blackhawks Score Twice in OT

Toews struck for the Blackhawks 30 seconds into overtime. Fans headed for the exits, and the Canucks stormed to the dressing room.

Not so fast, though. NHL head office reviews all overtime scoring plays, and they ruled that the play had been offside. Everyone went back to their places:

And it’s a good thing they did. The overtime period caught fire after the disallowed goal.

Chances came fast and furious at both ends. Kane was stopped on a breakaway, as was Bo Horvat.

Markus Granlund, too, had a glorious chance to end it:

In the end, Vancouver could not capitalize on their second life. Marian Hossa hammered the final nail with one minute left in overtime:

Tough, tough loss.

Hanging with the Big Boys

Then again, let’s keep some perspective. The Chicago Blackhawks are the best team in the Western Conference. Before the game, most of us would have leapt at the chance to take the Hawks to overtime.

Blowing a 3-0 lead is a heartbreaker, but the Canucks also managed to earn a point in a game that not many people expected them to compete in, let alone win. So that’s something.

It’s been so long since they played with the lead, surely they’re a bit out of practice.

After emerging from their nine-game losing streak, the Vancouver Canucks are 3-2-1 in their last six games. They will take a three-day break to start next week, before hitting the road to face the Arizona Coyotes once again.

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