Without Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks lack a scoring punch late in a loss to the Canucks
VANCOUVER -It first came out as an illness that caused him to miss morning skate, but there was still hope that the NHL’s leading scorer would find his way back onto the ice at Rogers Arena.
But an hour before game time, it was revealed that this ailment would keep Patrick Kane out of the lineup for the first match-up against the Canucks this season. It was certainly a letdown, considering that the forward had played in every game so far his season, and notched a goal in three of his last four games, bringing his season total to eleven.
Certainly, the Blackhawks missed him on Wednesday night, especially when their opponents turned up the offensive pressure late.
A one-goal lead in the second period disappeared as Vancouver controlled the pace in the final period and a half, scoring three unanswered goals in a 4-2 triumph over the Blackhawks that drops them to 6-4-2 on the season.
The Blackhawks found offense in the first 22 minute of the game even without Kane on the ice – and got it to start from a player on the opposite end of the leading scorer. Brandon Saad was able to push across just his third goal of the first period on the break to put the visitors up 1-0. Even after Vancouver tied the game later in the first, Jonathan Toews registered a power play strike 1:05 into the second period to put the Blackhawks in the lead.
The Canucks made their move after that, tying the game later in the second on a goal by Jake Virtanen. Brendan Gaunce put the Canucks ahead in the third on a bizarre play in which Toews passed from the boards to the middle of the ice for John Hayden, not realizing that he was without a stick. Gaunce got the puck on the turnover and immediately fired on net, beating Crawford to make it 3-2., Antoine Rousse added insurance with a goal with under four minutes to go.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks couldn’t find the net again, as the group was missing their leading scorer quite a bit on Wednesday in Vancouver.