posttrib
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

Hawks use four-goal second period to top Canucks 5-2, end four-game skid

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks

storyidforme: 61332944
tmspicid: 22188208
fileheaderid: 10533496
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: March 3, 2014 4:25PM



VANCOUVER, British Columbia — After the Blackhawks’ overtime loss Tuesday to the Calgary Flames in the opener of a six-game road trip that will take them to the Olympic break, their game Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks was a crossroads.

The Hawks entered the game on a four-game losing streak, their longest since 2012, and were looking for a spark to turn things around for the rest of the trip. It took them awhile, but they found it in the
second period against the Canucks.

Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad (who also had an empty-net goal), Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp scored in an eight-minute span of the second to wipe out a two-goal deficit and send the Hawks to a 5-2 victory. The result enabled coach Joel Quenneville to move into sole possession of third place on the NHL’s all-time list with 693 victories.

Quality teams, such as the
Canucks, have brought out the best in the Hawks. Before their four-game skid, the Hawks won back-to-back games against the Anaheim Ducks, who lead the Western Conference, and Boston Bruins, who are second in the Eastern Conference.

‘‘We knew we were playing some pretty tough teams, and we raised our level of play,’’ captain Jonathan Toews said Tuesday. ‘‘We just haven’t done that against anybody else.’’

While the Hawks’ loss to the Flames was riddled with mistakes, they continued their recent history of bouncing back quickly on long road trips. The Hawks began their circus trip with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 19, then proceeded to win six games in a row. That included a 2-1 victory Nov. 23 against the Canucks.

And according to some in the locker room, the Hawks were hoping the combination of playing the Canucks and the togetherness playing on the road instills would give them a much-needed boost.

‘‘We played them a month or so ago, and there was still a lot of stuff going back and forth,’’ winger Kris Versteeg said. ‘‘I know when I was here in ’09 and ’10, those playoff
series were awfully heated.

‘‘The camaraderie is built on the road. You’re around the guys a lot more. At home, it’s basically go to the rink and go home. I think being around the guys and building that tight-knit kind of feeling definitely always helps.’’

To win on the road, the Hawks know it’s important to manage ice time. Quenneville likes to use four lines, but he has noticed the team hasn’t been playing consistently from line to line.

‘‘We like to say we are a four-line team and we’ve got four lines who are hard to play against, and I think that’s been very sporadic,’’ Quenne-
ville said. ‘‘Especially on the road, we haven’t seemed to get that
consistency.’’



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.