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Blackhawks 5, Canucks 2

The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Chicago Blackhawks scored four goals in less than eight minutes during the second period, and they beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 at Rogers Arena on Wednesday night.

Trailing 2-0 and in danger of being shut out for the first time this season, Chicago got on the scoreboard when right winger Marian Hossa finished off a pretty back-and-forth pair of cross-ice passes by roofing the puck under the crossbar on a power play at 6:30 of the second period.

Barely three minutes later, left winger Brandon Saad redirected a puck past Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo to draw Chicago even.

Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews then beat Luongo when the puck jumped over the stick of Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa right to the Chicago captain at the side of the net at 10:47.

Toews then fed left winger Patrick Sharp a drop pass at 14:11, and Sharp beat Luongo from the top of the faceoff circle.

It took Chicago five shots and 7:41 to score the four goals.

The Canucks opened scoring 16 seconds into the game after left winger Chris Higgins bodychecked Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook off the puck then skated to the front of the net for a pass from center Ryan Kesler. Higgins tucked the puck under Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

Vancouver maintained the one-goal lead despite being outshot 13-3 by Chicago over the first 18 minutes of the opening period.

The Canucks made it 2-0 at 2:44 of the second period when fourth-line left winger Tom Sestito snapped home a quick shot from the slot.

Vancouver's power play continued to prove inept, going 0-for-3 for the game. However, the Canucks did manage two shots on goal on the second man-advantage after getting just two shots on goal over their past seven power plays combined. They are 4-for-40 (10 percent) over their past 15 games.

Saad's empty-netter made it 20 games this season that Chicago has scored five or more goals, tops in the NHL.

It was Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville's 693rd career victory, moving him into third place in league history for regular-season wins.

The game was the third and final regular-season meeting between the teams, with the Blackhawks taking five of a possible six points.

Crawford finished with 29 saves, while Luongo stops 35 shots.

NOTES: The Blackhawks will send 10 players, spread among five countries, to the Sochi Games. That is tied for a league high with the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. ... Vancouver is sending seven players, representing four countries, to the Winter Olympics. ... The Blackhawks collected at least one point for the 45th time in 56 games, and they began the night ranked first in the NHL with an average of 3.44 goals a game. ... Duncan Keith led all defenseman with 44 assists entering play Wednesday. He became the fastest Blackhawk to 40 assists (46 games) in franchise history. ... Canucks C Henrik Sedin (ribs) missed his fifth consecutive game after having played 679 straight games, the sixth-longest ironman streak in NHL history. ... The Canucks played their final home game prior to the Olympic break. ... Chicago does not play a home game until March 1. The Blackhawks' last home game was Jan. 26.
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