Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau likes Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak’s parallel goalkeepers.
It’s Halak’s turn on Monday night.
Halak made 20 saves and Brock Boeser scored, sending Vancouver to a 3-1 win over the listless Chicago Blackhawks.
“When you get the goal, you’re in every game, and we’re lucky for that,” Boudreau said.
The 36-year-old Halak got his second win of the season in his first game since December 30. He was recovered from COVID-19 protocols on Thursday.
“Try to get into the trench immediately. It’s never been easy, but… the boys played pretty well against me tonight,” said Halak. “We didn’t give them a lot, especially in season three.”
Alex Chiasson and Luke Schenn also scored for Vancouver, which fell 4/5. The Canucks scored just 15 shots on goal in a 1-0 loss in extra time in Calgary on Saturday night.
Connor Murphy scored for the Blackhawks, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 stops.
Playing without captain Jonathan Toews, who missed his second game in a row with a concussion, Chicago lost for the sixth time in seven games. It has dropped to 5-7-5 in the last 17 games overall.
Interim coach Derek King said: “We have no right to make two or three mistakes. “We had to play a pretty solid hockey game, and we had a bad time. We had a few hits but were a bit underwhelming.”
The Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead before Murphy drove a long slap past Halak with 6:59 left. It was the midfielder’s fourth goal of the season and only his fourth in his last 18 games.
Chicago made an effort to hit the binding target, but it blew its whistle because of too many men on the ice at 16:53. Then, Schenn scored with an empty net with just 21 seconds left.
“Can’t happen at home, it takes that long to get into a game,” Murphy said.
Chiasson gave Vancouver a 12:21 lead in first place. Capitalizing on a pass from Blackhawks defender Jake McCabe, Chiasson received a pass from Justin Dowling and beat Fleury from the top of the glove.
It was Chiasson’s fifth goal of the season and the 106th in the 600th league game of his career.
“I think our squad played great tonight,” Chiasson said. “If there is scoring deep at a certain point in the game, it helps our team, so we have to find a way to contribute more here.”
Sam Lafferty had a chance to hit back for Chicago, but he failed to convert a glimpse just in front of the net with about three minutes left in the first game.
Boeser then gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead when he redirected Quinn Hughes’ shot past Fleury 4:28 for the second. It was Boeser’s 12th goal and 32nd assist of the season for Hughes.
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New Canucks general manager Patrick Allvin has joined the team in Chicago. He was hired on Wednesday, becoming the 12th GM in franchise history.
Former Blackhawks forwards Eddie Olczyk, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have agreed to help the team in its search for a general manager. Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said Olczyk, Hossa and Sharp “are well-respected hockey minds who have great knowledge of the game.” Mike Forde, executive chairman of Sportsology and former Chelsea FC executive, is also advising the team on the opening day.
Canucks: At Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: Host the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/chicago-hockey/halak-boeser-help-canucks-top-stumbling-blackhawks-3-1/2744748/ Halak, Boeser Help Canucks Top Blackhawks 3-1 – NBC Chicago