CHICAGO -- The road-weary Vancouver Canucks could have mailed it in against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night at United Center.
Instead, they fought back from a two-goal deficit in the second period to win 3-2 in a shootout that lasted eight rounds and concluded with Ryan Kesler's wrist shot past Antti Raanta.
Chicago, which had two days off between games, took its first loss of any kind in 15 games when scoring the first goal. Vancouver was playing its third road game in four days and trailed 2-0 in the second period against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Rather than folding, they battled back to earn not only one point, but two.
"First period, I think we showed them a little bit too much respect," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "You should respect that team. It's a really good hockey club, but I think we just kind of tested the waters a little bit. I thought we started taking over the game in the second period."
After a goal by Zack Kassian that made it 2-1, the Canucks (21-11-6) started to claw back into it. Eventually they tied it 2-2 midway through the third on a pretty goal by Daniel Sedin and outlasted the Blackhawks (25-7-6) in the lengthy shootout.
"To do that you need everyone going," Sedin said. "After those first 10 to 15 minutes [of the game], everyone stepped up and played better, from the [defensemen] up to the forwards. I thought we played a good game."
Patrick Sharp was the only Blackhawks shooter to beat Eddie Lack in the shootout, but his goal in the third round only kept Chicago's hopes alive until Kesler ripped his wrister past Raanta five rounds later.
Lack also stopped 24 shots through 65 minutes and helped Vancouver's top-ranked penalty kill keep Chicago's power play from scoring on four tries. The Blackhawks had scored at least one power-play goal in 10 straight games, but the Canucks' effort to kill them off was just too much this time.
"I thought our power play might've let us down a little bit tonight," said Patrick Kane, who extended his point streak to 11 games with a goal and assist. "We didn't really create any momentum off it and they probably got momentum off killing them off. It's something we'll try to improve on, but definitely disappointing when you're up 2-0 to give up a lead and then lose the game."
Raanta made 22 saves for Chicago, which couldn't hold the lead after Kris Versteeg scored in the first and Kane put the Blackhawks ahead 2-0 at 4:57 of the second.
It was Kane's sixth goal and 20th point in his current streak -- and 37th point in the past 24 games -- but it wasn't enough to finish off the Canucks. Chicago, which has yet to win a game in overtime, fell to 4-4 in shootouts and Kane dropped to 0-for-8 in shootout attempts this season.
This time he shot first, a spot normally reserved for Chicago captain Jonathan Toews.
"I haven't had a good record in the shootout this year and I thought I had the guy beat," Kane said. "I just didn't maybe put the backhand where I wanted and the goalie made a nice save. It's something where, when you don't convert those the team loses points. So, we'll try to get better at that."
Vancouver started its comeback effort with Kassian's goal, scored 3:22 after Kane's 21st of the season. Lack held them in with some big saves and the offense slowly started to control the puck more.
The Canucks also got some fortuitous bounces.
Kassian beat Raanta with a hard wrister from the left circle; his shot deflected off Brent Seabrook's left leg and took a sharp turn toward the short side, catching Raanta slightly out of position as it hit the back of the net.
Sedin's goal came as the result of a deflection as well.
Kevin Bieksa fired a slap shot that was blocked by a Blackhawks defender, and the puck caromed in front of Sedin on the far side of the net. Sedin kicked it to the blade of his stick for a shot while he fell to the ice, somehow lifting a shot just over Raanta's outstretched arm and into the net.
"I was lucky to get my skate on the puck," he said. "It was a big goal for us. We took it to them in overtime too. We could've easily ended it right there, but we'll take it in the shootout."
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