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Blackhawks 2, Canucks 1

The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Chicago Blackhawks scored a pair of third-period goals nine seconds apart to defeat the Canucks 2-1 on Saturday night at Rogers Arena.

Ten seconds after the Canucks killed a hooking minor to center Ryan Kesler, Chicago center Andrew Shaw redirected a shot by right winger Patrick Kane to make it 1-1 at 4:40 of the third.

Nine seconds later, center Marcus Kruger beat Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo between the legs to make it 2-1.

It was two seconds off the fastest two goals the Canucks have given up in franchise history (seven seconds, three times). And it was five seconds off the Chicago franchise record of two goals in five seconds.

Canucks right winger Ryan Kesler opened scoring at 18:33 of the first period on a 5-on-3 power play, the first man-advantage goal for the anemic Canucks power-play in nine chances going back three games. Vancouver's power-play is ranked 29th in the league, ahead of only Florida.

The tempo of the game was a lot more conservative than these two Western rivals usually play, at least until the Blackhawks' two quick goals, which seemed to wake up the Canucks.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was sharp as the Canucks pressed in the final 10 minutes.

There is plenty of bad blood between the teams.

Their history includes hair-pulling, goalie-punching, slurs such as "sisters" and "weirdos", and a vicious elbow from Chicago defenseman and B.C. native Duncan Keith to the head of Canucks left winger Daniel Sedin.

The subsequent concussion on Sedin prevented the Canucks' top goal scorer from playing all but one playoff game as the Canucks were swept by Los Angeles.

As well, infamously, Kane's picture, shirtless and accompanied by some women in a limousine outside a Vancouver nightclub, made its way around the Internet.

The teams met three years in a row in the playoffs, Chicago winning in six games in 2009 and 2010 (when they won a Stanley Cup), the Canucks winning in 2011, but requiring overtime in Game 7 after blowing a 3-0 series lead (the Canucks would advance to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, losing to the Boston Bruins).

Left winger Alex Burrows and then Daniel Sedin both whiffed on solid chances in the waning minutes.

The Canucks outshot the Blackhawks 37-29.

NOTES: Chicago RW Patrick Kane had a nine-game points streak heading into the game (5-8-13). ... Blackhawks D Duncan Keith entered the game tied for most assists among defensemen (16) and was sixth overall for assists. ... Chicago RW Marian Hossa did not dress. He returned to Chicago for a family matter. ... Canucks D Ryan Stanton, claimed off waivers from Chicago in the offseason, had a career-high three assists in his previous game, the first Canucks defenseman to do so since 1997. He was second in rookie scoring among defensemen with 10 points heading into the game. ... RW Ryan Kesler's first-period power-play goal was his first goal in seven games. ... LW Daniel Sedin entered the game needing one goal to reach 300 in his NHL career.
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