Late rally lifts Canucks

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

An exciting comeback by the Canucks helped snapped their four-game road losing skid Wednesday with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

A bad giveaway by Chicago's Patrick Kane in his own zone led to Mikael Samuelsson's fifth goal of the season, as the Swede tallied with just under five minutes left in regulation to give Vancouver their only lead of the game.

Much was made of Roberto Luongo's return to Chicago after his forgettable game six in last year's Western Conference semi-finals, but the Canucks goaltender did not let it affect him. He stopped 18 of 20 shots, including a highlight-reel save at the tail end of a 5-on-3 in the third period, to get the win.

Although Vancouver produced the better chances in the first period, the Blackhawks escaped into the intermission with the lead after Duncan Keith's point shot deflected off Kyle Wellwood's stick and went short side on Luongo.

However, the Canucks tied up the game just 46 seconds into the second period when Steve Bernier finished a goal mouth scramble for his third of the season. Alex Burrows and Samuelsson had the assists.

Troy Brouwer regained the lead for the Blackhawks late in the second, on only their fourth shot of the period, when he redirected a Keith slapper past Luongo. But during a four-minute Canucks penalty halfway through the third period, rookie Michael Grabner's first NHL goal evened things up when he wired a slapshot past Antti Niemi. The Blackhawks goaltender finished with 28 saves.

The Samuelsson shot count continues as he recorded three more shots Wednesday, moving him into second overall with 41. Burrows is also rising in the category, as his five shots bumps him up to fourth overall with 37.

Although Chicago dominated the Canucks in hits with 32 bodychecks compared to Vancouver's 19, Willie Mitchell threw the biggest hit of the night on Jonathan Toews when he caught the Chicago captain with his head down at centre ice. Toews stumbled off the ice and did not return to the game.

The league's only winless team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, will make their one and only visit this season to G.M. Place Saturday in a 4 p.m. start.


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