Canucks 4, Blackhawks 3
Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin has the NHL scoring lead and bragging rights over twin brother Henrik. However, he was more impressed with a rare home win over rival Chicago.
Daniel Sedin's goal with four minutes left moved him atop the NHL scoring race with 69 points, and lifted the Canucks to their fifth straight win with a wild 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.
More importantly, said Sedin, it ended a five-game losing streak against Chicago that included all three games in last year's second-round playoff loss - the second straight season the Canucks were eliminated by the Blackhawks.
''It's good for our confidence I think, especially against this team,'' said Daniel, who also assisted on brother Henrik's power-play goal to tie the game midway through the third period.
''We've had some problems against them.''
They did again, falling behind late in the second period and again eight minutes into the third when Dave Bolland, who had a goal waved off in the first period, had his errant shot batted into the Vancouver net by Canucks rookie defenseman Chris Tanev.
But Henrik tied it on a power play just over two minutes later with a one-timer from just above the goal line after Mikael Samuelsson's fake point shot stranded goalie Marty Turco atop his crease.
''To be down 3-2 with 10 minutes to go and come back and win that's huge for our confidence,'' said Henrik, who added two assists.
Daniel's two points moved him one up on Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the league lead.
Henrik, who won the scoring race last season, finished with three points and is four back of Daniel.
''Now I know what it feels to be up there but it's a good feeling when you are winning games too,'' Daniel said. ''It's a confident group in here.''
Daniel scored the winner after leaving the puck for Henrik and then redirecting the return feed toward the net. It hit a defenseman in the slot and fluttered over Turco, avenging Vancouver's 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Nov. 20.
''I don't know what it is,'' said goalie Roberto Luongo, who finished with 42 saves. ''When they're here we have trouble handling their offense.''
Samuelsson tied it late in the second period and Christian Ehrhoff also scored for the Canucks, who are 24-4-6 since that lopsided loss to Chicago in late November and lead the NHL with 77 points.
Meanwhile the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks remain ninth in the Western Conference, a point out of the playoffs.
But in a game that featured playoff intensity, several close calls, near misses, and great saves at both ends, Chicago was unlucky not to extend its success in Vancouver.
In addition to Bolland's goal being called back with five minutes left in the first period, Ehrhoff's goal three minutes later appeared to be offside.
''On the bench it looked like it could have been but on the replay it verified it, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
Captain Jonathan Toews scored and set up defenseman Nick Boynton's first goal in 69 games for the Blackhawks, who have lost three of the past four.
''If we continue to play like this, we'll be all right in the long run, but it still stings right now, said Turco, who made 28 saves in his second straight start since last weekend's All-Star break after only playing twice ahead of rookie Corey Crawford in January.
Bolland appeared to open the scoring with five minutes left in the first period, but his goal from the top of the right faceoff circle and past Luongo's blocker was waved off immediately.
The referee said it was called off because Troy Brouwer ''was in the crease'', but replays showed the Chicago forward never touched Luongo beyond brushing his stick as he cut in front.
''I was surprised he called it because it was a subtle contact but it was interference,'' Luongo said.
Toews tied the game 5 minutes into the second, and set up Boynton's go-ahead goal 5 minutes later. But the Blackhawks' No. 1-ranked power play failed on three straight chances, including a 5-on-3 for 47 seconds, and Samuelsson tied it on a Canucks power play with 1:16 left in the period.
''We lost some momentum in the second period on that 5-on-3, Quenneville said.
Notes: Canucks D Aaron Rome returned after missing eight games with a sprained knee, taking rookie Lee Sweatt's spot in the lineup. ... Chicago D John Scott missed the game with the flu and was replaced by rookie Nick Leddy. ... Blackhawks C Ryan Johnson, who played for Vancouver last season, sat out with a lower-body injury. ... Chicago D Brian Campbell played his 600th NHL game.