Vancouver Canuck fans may have thought that their 2-0 win last night at Rogers Arena was cleaning the slate of their dark recent playoff history against their western conference rival Chicago Black Hawks. (In historical fact, the Canucks won the first games in both the 2009 and 2010 playoff series, before losing the series).
Last night however the Canucks came out the dominant team outshooting and outhitting the Hawks before being rewarded with the first goal at the 7:03 minute mark- a Chris Higgins’ tip-in of a point shot from Kevin Bieksa. Just over three minutes later, Jannik Hansen scored a beautiful goal on a breakaway when he managed to avoid a Hawk defender and a broken stick on the ice before roofing a forehand over the shoulder of Hawk netminder Corey Crawford.
The Hawks however after being outshot 13-7 in the first, poured on the pressure in the second period outshooting (15-13) and outchancing the hosts.
Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo stopped all of the Hawks 32 shots in the contest but was helped by several goalposts in the second and third period – one by Patrick Kane and one by Jonathan Toews. Hawks’ Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 33 shots directed at him. Canuck fans started chanting “Crawford, Crawford” taunts after the goalie let in the first two early goals. ..later it turned to “We want Turco”, a reference to veteran Hawk back netminder Marty Turco.
There were only seven minor penalties called in the fast-paced game, four going to the Canucks.
Game two is Friday at 7:00 p.m. (PDT) at Rogers Arena.