It was all going so well for the beleaguered Canucks.
A Loui Eriksson goal? Check.
A (rare) lead? Check.
A (rare) three-goal lead after two periods against the Chicago Blackhawks on home ice? Well, that’s icing on the cake.
And then it all went wrong.
The Blackhawks came roaring back with four answered goals, Marian Hossa scoring the winner in overtime for a 4-3 victory. Jonathan Toews appeared to score the winner earlier in the extra period, but the goal was called back after a review showed Chicago was offside.
The Canucks deserved credit for stifling the Blackhawks, keeping them to only 11 shots on goal through two periods.
Chicago then put it into another gear, with 17 shots on Jacob Markstrom in the final 20 minutes. They scored three times and had chances to win it in regulation, too, because the Canucks were reeling.
This will be a game that got away from the Canucks.
“Getting a point from the Blackhawks is normally a good thing. Not tonight. We should had two,” said Henrik Sedin.
After getting new life in overtime, they were unable to convert on their numerous opportunities, including an Eriksson breakaway that resulted in a great Scott Darling save. Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund had chances, too. Couldn’t score.
It all adds up to another disappointing loss in Vancouver and for its fan base.
There has been speculation for weeks about the future of head coach Willie Desjardins and with three days until their next game, which starts a three-game road trip, this loss — especially with the way it unfolded in the third period — won’t do anything to quell that.
Desjardins said his message to his team after two periods was not to sit back. That plan never materialized.
“We had to go after it and basically keep playing the same way. But we didn’t want to sit back and let them come to us,” he told reporters. “If you look at the period, we didn’t execute it very well, obviously. (The Blackhawks) got a lot of chances.”
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks maintain their lead in the Central Division with eight wins in their last 10 games.
“Guys are saying, we’re coming back, there’s no way we’re losing this one. It’s definitely cool to hear that,” said Blackhawks forward Vince Hinostroza, who had a three-point night, per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.