Chicago top Central Division despite defeat

Vancouver in control of Northwest Division after beating Blackhawks

Gulf News

Chicago: The Vancouver Canucks handed the Chicago Blackhawks a second successive shootout loss, taking their home NHL clash 2-1 on Friday.

Chicago opened the season with a franchise record 6-0 start but after falling to Minnesota on Wednesday via shootout they were sent home packing in similar circumstances by the Canucks.

Tied 1-1 after regulation and unable to be separated after overtime, Jordan Schroeder emerged as the home side hero, sliding the puck through Corey Crawford’s legs after each side’s first three shooters were unable to connect.

“We have been working on it. I knew my name would get called,” Schroeder told reporters.

“I wanted to go in with some speed wide. 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.”

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo stood out with 28 saves despite still expecting to be traded away from the side should the right deal come along.

“Sometimes you get in a rhythm. You are seeing the puck and getting bounces. When you’re in that zone, you want to keep it going as long as possible,” Luongo said.

“You always take pride in the way you play, no matter what the circumstances are. It’s an honour and a privilege to be playing in the NHL so you don’t want to take that stuff for granted. You want to give your best and that’s what I am doing.”

Zack Kassian sent a great pass back to Alexander Edler in the opening third and the Vancouver defenceman made no mistake and slammed the puck home for the early lead.

The teams traded numerous chances to no avail until midway through the final term when Patrick Kane found the net from a tough angle to tie the scores.

Chicago remain top of the Western Conference Central Division at 6-0-2 while Vancouver took control of the Northwest Division at 4-2-2.