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In battle of NHL’s first and last, Vancouver bests Chicago

Feb 13, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland (8) celebrates with the bench after scoring a goal in the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Conor Garland scored twice and Dakota Joshua had a goal and two assists to propel the visiting Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 victory against the slumping Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Vancouver, the NHL points leader with 78, cruised in a matchup with the league’s cellar dweller, boasting a 38-23 advantage in shots on goal that included a 12-1 edge after one period.

Chicago remained at 31 points after losing for a season-high seventh time in a row — its longest skid since losing eight straight from March 18-April 1, 2023.

Seth Jones recorded the Blackhawks’ first shot on goal with 31 seconds left in the opening period. Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko made the stop, his first of 21 saves.

Garland opened the scoring at 10:05 of the first, converting after the Canucks capitalized on an errant pass from Chicago’s Alex Vlasic. Filip Hronek intercepted the puck and sent it to Joshua, who started an odd-man rush that ended when Garland sent a wrist shot into the net as Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek tried to recover.

Garland got his second goal of the night and Hronek his second assist at 8:18 of the second period, as Hronek’s slap shot deflected off Garland’s foot.

Tyler Johnson’s power-play goal at 16:43 of the second brought the Blackhawks within 2-1, but the deficit returned to two goals just 1:45 later. Vancouver pushed the puck after Chicago’s Colin Blackwell hit the crossbar, leading to a goal by Nils Hoglander.

Joshua made it 4-1 Vancouver at 6:07 of the second, giving the visitors their largest cushion of the night. The Blackhawks’ Kevin Korchinski finished a 2-on-1 with Ryan Donato at 13:27 of the third to account for the final margin.

Vancouver won for the seventh time in 10 games while securing a 3-2 record on a five-game road trip.

Vancouver swept the three-game season series from Chicago, outscoring the Blackhawks 10-5.

Mrazek stopped 34 shots.

The Blackhawks went 1-for-4 on the power play while limiting the Canucks to 0-for-4 on the man advantage.

–Field Level Media

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