PIC OF THE GAME
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- Not only do the Canucks have the Blackhawks’ number, they have it committed to memory – and judging by Wednesday’s performance, they’re not about to forget it.
Brendan Morrison scored early in the third to give Vancouver a 3-2 win at the United Center, a game in which the Canucks never trailed.
Mattias Ohlund and Byron Ritchie scored the other goals for Vancouver, who snapped Chicago’s five-game home win streak.
The Canucks have now taken 15 of the last 17 meetings between the teams and improved their own road record to 8-4-1.
Morrison scored at 3:11 of the third. His shot from the right circle deflected off Chicago defenseman Andrei Zyuzin's stick and slid past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin just inside right goal post.
"I just let 'er go," Morrison said. "I was just trying to shoot through a screen. It bounced off his shaft and changed direction." Taylor Pyatt had two assists for Vancouver, which is 10-2-2 in its last 14 and hasn't dropped two straight since losing consecutive contests on Oct. 28 and Nov. 1.
Morrison seemed to benefit from being switched to a line with Pyatt and Ritchie, Canucks coach Alain Vigenault said.
"We need to find a way for Brendan to give us more offense,' Vigneault said. "He seemed excited about playing with Pyatt and Ritchie and it worked out well for us tonight."
Morrison has eight goals and nine assists in 27 games this year.
Martin Lapointe and Martin Havlat scored for the Blackhawks, whose five-game home winning streak ended.
With an assist on Ohlund's goal, Markus Naslund recorded his 725th point with Vancouver and passed Trevor Linden as the Canucks' career scoring leader.>
Naslund has 332 goals and 393 assists in 829 games with the Canucks. Linden, in his second tour with Vancouver, has 312 goals and 412 assists in 1,020 games with the team.
"I guess it's something to reflect on when you're done," Naslund said. "It wasn't a pretty game at all, but we found a way to win." Ohlund's goal was his 83rd with Vancouver, tying him with Jyrki Lumme for the most goals by a Canucks defenseman.
Vancouver's Roberto Luongo
made 25 saves in his sixth straight start. During the span, he has allowed seven goals and posted three consecutive shutouts from Nov. 25 to Nov 29.
"It was an ugly win for us," said Luongo. "At the same time, it was a good road win. We' ll take the two points and move on to Nashville tomorrow."
"It was a tricky game; it could have went either way. We took a lot of penalties against them and fortunately it didn' t cost us so much and we were able to get the big goal."
The Hawks finsihed 1-for-6 on the power play, and their lone goal was a shot by Martin Havlat that bounced in off a defenceman's shin.
Tied Lumme for goals by a Canucks D with his 83rd.
Moved past Linden for the club scoring title with his 725th point in Van.
His first-period goal got the Hawks back in the game after a slow start.
The only other Chicago goal was a floater from 20-feet that seemed to handcuff the Canucks' keeper and gave the Hawks early life after the Canucks jumped out to a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
"I didn' t feel my sharpest that I' ve been over the last few weeks," said Luongo. "Sometimes you' re going to feel like that; you can' t always feel great. But the important thing is you have to battle through these situations and make sure you' re sound technically."
"We played like half a game," Lapointe said. "Luongo is a world-class goaltender, but he's not unbeatable. We've got to get traffic in front of the net." "I didn't like our start," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "We should have played better in the second and third, but if the start was as good as we've had at home the last couple of weeks, we'd have been OK."
Ohlund opened the scoring 7:24 into the first. After taking a drop pass from Naslund, he lofted a backhander over Khabibulin's left shoulder from the slot. Lapointe tied with 5:17 left in the first. His shot from the slot rolled over Luongo's left pad and into the net before the goalie could control the puck with his glove.
Ritchie put Vancouver ahead 2-1 with 38 seconds left in the period. His centering attempt from behind the net hit Khabibulin's right skate, deflected and trickled over the goal line.
Havlat tied it at 2 with a power-play goal at 9:01 of the second. His shot from a sharp angle struck Luongo, then bounded off Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo
's skate and into the net.
Luongo made a point-blank save on Chicago's Patrick Kane with 33 seconds left to preserve the win.
"There were some moments on the ice for both teams there,” said Vigneault. “The ice wasn' t in very good condition. It was tough to make decent plays with the puck and have any execution. It was a hard-fought game; there wasn' t a lot of room on the ice and we found a way to get it done in the third.”
Notes: Chicago D James Wisniewski returned after missing three games because of a facial injury. ... Blackhawks C Jason Williams missed his third straight game and seventh in the last eight with a groin injury. RW Rene Bourque missed his seventh game with a broken thumb. Rookie C Jacob Dowell missed his third game with a broken right foot. ... Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa
sat out his 14th game with a leg injury. ... White Sox slugger Jim Thome dropped the ceremonial first puck.