The Vancouver Canucks held on for a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday at Rogers Arena, relying on the sublime goaltending of Cory Schneider and the clutch passing of the Sedin twins to convert in overtime.
The Hat Trick
Schneider stopped 37 of 39 shots from the crease in a classic goaltender’s duel, but came close to giving the game away while behind his own net.
Schneider played the puck straight to former Canuck Brendan Morrison but miraculously managed to scramble back into his crease, flopping around in the crease to make the stunning stop with his left arm.
Fresh from his first All-Star experience in Ottawa, Cody Hodgson converted his 14th of the season on Tuesday, beating Corey Crawford with a nasty wrist-shot that instantly validated Coho’s appearance in the NHL skills competition days earlier.
Hodgson’s game has grown stronger with every game and shows no signs of slowing, especially if he can somehow find a way to increase his ice time.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin remained quiet for the majority of Tuesday’s game under the watchful eye of Dave Bolland and the Blackhawks’ checking line, but wouldn’t be denied once overtime opened the ice just enough for sudden-death Sedinery.
Just as fans began to whisper about the struggling Swedes, Henrik and Daniel took to the ice for two of the most controlling shifts I’ve seen all season.
After Corey Crawford robbed Henrik on the doorstep to prolong overtime, brother Daniel would not be denied from the same spot only minutes later.
The Canucks came up with a gutsy effort against the Blackhawks on Tuesday but were caught holding on for dear life early in the hockey game. Alain Vigneault’s skaters would only have had themselves to blame if the Ginger Jesus hadn’t managed to salvage the final forty minutes.
After practically waving a white flag in the second period, the Canucks learned their lesson late and managed to strike first in the frantic few minutes of overtime.
Jonathan Toews came within inches of icing the game with a potential highlight reel overtime winner but was denied by Schneider only for the Sedins to skate back up ice and seal the game seconds later.
“We had a couple of interesting moments in overtime that I think everyone enjoyed and we were able to pull it off,” said Head Coach Alain Vigneault after an exciting overtime that packed a game’s worth of highlights into several short shifts.
The 3 Stars
1st. Cory Schneider – SAVE PCTG: 0.949
2nd. Viktor Stalberg – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 7| PLUS/MINUS: 0
3rd. Alexander Edler – GOALS: 0| PTS: 2| ASST: 2 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 0
Vancouver 3, Chicago 2
When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Marc Joannette, Ian Walsh
Linesmen: Thor Nelson, Vaughan Rody