Blackhawks overcome three-goal deficit to stun Canucks in overtime

Blackhawks overcome three-goal deficit to stun Canucks in overtime

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.”

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Adam Boqvist

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 168 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Boqvist is a finesse defenseman who is very skilled, possesses excellent vision and tons of talent. He is fun to watch and full of surprises on the ice. He often plays bigger than his size and skated in his first games with Sweden's Senior National Team in April."

NHL player comparable: Erik Karlsson

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would love to have Karlsson, who is probably being traded out of Ottawa this summer. Every team would love to have him. But that's not realistic for Chicago. So what if they drafted his potential mini me?

Boqvist is electric with the puck and has drawn comparisons to the Swedish defenseman as a best-case scenario.

There are two concerns, though. One is that he may need some time to develop at just 17 years old and his defense a work in progress. The second is that he's sustained head injuries over the course of his young career, which adds a little bit of risk to the equation.

If he can stay healthy and his development isn't rushed, there's major upside here. But are the Blackhawks willing to be patient? We're not so sure.

Should the Blackhawks explore bringing back Artemi Panarin?


Should the Blackhawks explore bringing back Artemi Panarin?

Here's an interesting development as we approach the NHL Draft: Artemi Panarin has informed the Blue Jackets that he's not ready to consider an extension "at this time" and because of that, Columbus is testing the market for the Russian winger, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen responded to the report shortly after in a statement released by the team:

"Artemi is an elite National Hockey League player. Our position has been that we want him to be a Blue Jacket for many years and that has not changed. He has a year left on his contract, so there is plenty of time to work towards that end. Should anything change moving forward, we will address it at that time and any decision we make will be in the best interest of our club.”

Ironically, Panarin was traded to Columbus on the afternoon of last year's draft as part of a blockbuster package that sent Brandon Saad back to Chicago. It shook up the hockey world, and has the potential to do so again.

Panarin is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, but is free to sign an extension with Columbus on July 1. Clearly, that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now and it's why the Blue Jackets have to put out feelers. They can't risk losing him for nothing.

On the flip side, Panarin has every right to test the open market. He has one year left on his contract that carries a $6 million cap hit. He's due for a hefty raise, will be 27 years old next summer — the prime of his hockey career — and will certainly be looking for a long-term deal after accepting a bridge contract with the Blackhawks.

Speaking of whom, should his former team explore bringing him back to Chicago now that he's on the market?

Every general manager should and will do their due diligence and call for an asking price, Stan Bowman included. Those conversations might start with Alex DeBrincat or Nick Schmaltz, and if that's the case, you say thanks but no thanks and move on. 

The Blackhawks have the Nos. 8 and 27 picks in this year's draft as possible ammunition, but the Blue Jackets are ready to take that next step. They were up 2-0 in their first-round series before losing four straight to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. It's unlikely they'd be looking to center a potential deal around draft picks. 

The only way you even consider it from the Blackhawks perspective is if Panarin is guaranteed to sign a long-term extension at a price you're comfortable with, but that's one of the main reasons why they traded him in the first place. 

To cap it all off, trading for Panarin wouldn't even address the Blackhawks' biggest need and that's a Top 4 defenseman. Those don't grow on trees. The Blackhawks will have the cap space to sign a player like James van Riemsdyk to patch up their top 6. You can't say the same for the free-agent blue line group.

So while it may certainly be fun for Blackhawks fans to come up with possible trade scenarios to get Panarin back in an Indianhead sweater, it just doesn't make great sense for a variety of reasons.