VANCOUVER – Considering their first 40 minutes, which they finished trailing 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks, you would’ve figured the Blackhawks would’ve been seething, perhaps even using a few choice words during that second intermission.
Apparently, it wasn’t that at all.
“Believe it or not, it was a lot of positivity,” Ryan Hartman said. “We knew we could come back. We knew it started with one goal.”
Sure enough, it started with a goal 2:53 into the third period. It ended with Marian Hossa once again having the final say.
Vinnie Hinostroza scored his first career NHL goal and Hossa scored his second game winner in as many nights as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Canucks 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night. The Blackhawks took four points on this back-to-back and are now 2-1-0 on the Circus Trip.
Scott Darling stopped 24 of 27 shots. He saved his best for overtime, stymieing all five of the Canucks’ opportunities. Artemi Panarin scored his seventh of the season and Hartman scored his second goal in as many nights.
The Blackhawks looked listless through the first two periods, especially the second one. During that frame the Canucks turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 one, thanks to Bo Horvat’s short-handed goal and Brandon Sutter’s even-strength one. But the Blackhawks stayed positive entering the third.
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“We didn’t panic. We knew there was still 20 minutes and this team’s able to score three goals in a period,” Hossa said. “We just had to get step by step, one by one.”
Step one was immediately after the Blackhawks’ early third-period power play, when Panarin scored. A little more than a minute later it was Hinostroza, who just came back from a concussion, scoring off his own rebound.
“Really happy for him. He’s been dying for that first one,” Hartman said of Hinostroza. “He had a few chances, had a few close calls. It was about time and a really good goal. Lot of speed, play at the net and finished it off.”
Speaking of finish, the Blackhawks thought they had finished this one about 30 seconds into overtime, courtesy of Jonathan Toews. But the goal was reviewed, deemed offside, and the game continued. Darling was stellar in that time, coming up with several dazzling stops.
“He was battling there, losing his glove and one hand behind his back. One more save he had to make,” coach Joel Quenneville said “He was great. Our goaltending’s been the reason we’re doing this year.”
The Blackhawks weren’t looking too good through the first two periods on Saturday night. But they’ve been through these deficits before and have enough veterans who knew panicking wasn’t going to get them anywhere. The first 40 minutes weren’t great. The final 20 and change was fantastic.
“Tremendous comeback,” Quenneville said. “Crazy overtime. It could’ve gone either way and I thought we won earlier. But thrills and excitement of that overtime, I don’t know how many A-plus chances against both ways. It was pretty amazing.”