VANCOUVER – Another successful trip to Rogers Arena helped the Chicago Blackhawks shake the effects of a humiliating defeat.
Troy Brouwer scored the winner on a highlight-reel effort and Fernando Pisani added a pair of goals as the Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 Saturday.
Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane also scored, while Marian Hossa added three assists for Chicago (11-10-2), which improved to 2-1-0 on its six-game road trip. The Blackhawks were coming off a 7-2 loss in Calgary on Friday.
With a team-bonding trip to Las Vegas slated for Sunday and Monday, the Blackhawks can now enjoy themselves and forget the drubbing at the hands of the Flames.
“It wouldn’t have been a good day to go to Vegas after last night’s game,” said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “We’ve had some success here (in Vancouver). … Going into today’s game we were looking for something special tonight, and the guys delivered.”
Dating back to last season’s playoffs, the Hawks have won four straight games in Vancouver. The Canucks had been 6-0-1 at home this season.
Following their five-game eastern road trip, the Canucks said they were intent on sticking it to a Chicago team that has knocked them out of the playoffs the past two seasons.
However, even completing a short pass seemed like an accomplishment for Vancouver on this night. The Canucks couldn’t even muster a shot on goal in their first three power-play chances.
“We basically embarrassed ourselves tonight in front of our fans, and they did everything they could tonight to rub it in our face—6-0 and they throw their No. 1 power play unit when it’s a 5-on-3 (power play),” said miffed Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, whose team fell to 10-6-3. “They have every right to do that. They did it.”
Quenneville didn’t see it that way.
“Tough to comment because I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Quenneville said. “I was rolling four lines … I was worried about playing everybody.”
Chicago had a slow start to the game, but exploded for four second-period goals.
The barrage began at 4:59, when Toews was credited with tipping in a Hossa shot from the hash marks that slipped underneath Roberto Luongo’s pads.
Brouwer made it 2-0 on an individual effort just over two minutes later, blowing past a flatfooted Christian Ehrhoff on the left sideboards and cutting in front to beat a prone Luongo for his third goal of the season.
“That was the fastest I’ve moved in my life,” joked Brouwer, a nearby Delta native who had his family in attendance. “I just saw a little bit of a lane outside, and coach has been wanting me to take the puck to the net for a while. I kind of thought I was going to get hit by that off side D, but it never came and so I just went far side.”
Seabrook on a power play slap shot and Sharp on a tic-tac-toe passing play 1:47 apart midway through the middle frame made it 4-0, and ended a shaky Luongo’s night. Cory Schneider came on in relief after Luongo made 16 of 20 saves. Schneider finished with 18 stops on 21 shots.
“It was 0-0 after the first so obviously we had a chance to get our legs under us,” said Luongo. “We have no explanation for what happened after that.”
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, on the other hand, was rock solid for Chicago. Though not busy, the 25-year-old was strong when tested. His best save came a minute into the second period, with the game scoreless, when he got his right shoulder on Alex Burrows’ shot on a short-handed 3-on-1 rush.
Pisani scored a pair of goals early in the third period, roofing a shot over Schneider’s glove at 4:10 and banging in a Dave Bolland pass at 5:55.
Kane made it 7-0 with a laser wrist shot off the iron and in. Kane, who turned 22 on Friday, also had two assists, and is looking forward to Vegas.
“It’s a good place to celebrate my birthday,” he said. “(Sunday) we’ll probably have a little bit of fun, and then we’re out of there Monday. It should be the perfect trip to get away and probably bond as a team, too.”
Mikael Samuelsson scored Vancouver’s lone goal on a power play at 13:27 of the third period.
NOTES: Daniel and Henrik Sedin had their four-game point streaks snapped. … Canucks defenceman Keith Ballard sat out with what the team was calling the flu. He was a healthy scratch in four of Vancouver’s past five games. They were the first healthy scratches of his career. … The Canucks held a moment of silence for Pat Burns prior to the game. Burns died on Friday after a long battle with cancer. … The Canucks honoured Richard Brodeur as part of their 40-year anniversary celebration. Brodeur led the Canucks to the 1982 Stanley Cup final versus the New York Islanders, where they were defeated in four straight.