Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 40 shots to collect his first shutout of the season Sunday as the Chicago Blackhawks blanked the Canucks 1-0 in Vancouver.
Brandon Hagel scored the game’s lone goal with a third-period tip in.
Fleury earned his 68th career shutout and improved his recent record against Vancouver to 13-0-2.
Thatcher Demko stopped 23-of-24 shots for the Canucks (6-11-2).
🗣️ DEMMER 🗣️ DEMMER 🗣️ DEMMER pic.twitter.com/5AS0IBiyHA
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 22, 2021
Vancouver controlled play through much of the first two periods but stuttered in the third, giving up an early goal and struggling to generate offence.
Chicago (6-10-2) was coming off a 5-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday. Vancouver beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 at home on Friday and was looking to post consecutive victories for just the second time this season.
The Canucks got a late chance after Chicago’s Jake McCabe was called for interference on Tanner Pearson with just over two minutes left on the clock.
Vancouver peppered Fleury of shots and poured on the pressure with just 90 seconds to go, pulling Demko in favour of an extra attacker, but the veteran netminder weathered the barrage. He made six saves to kill off the penalty.
The Canucks were 0 for 3 on the man advantage Sunday.
Hagel finally broke the scoreless deadlock 4:12 into the third, tipping in a long shot from Erik Gustafsson for his fifth goal of the season.
Vancouver dominated play through much of the first two periods, outshooting the visitors 30-13, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Fleury had ample help from his posts, with several Canucks ringing shots off the metal, including Pearson, who nearly evened the score midway through the third.
Conor Garland had a prime scoring opportunity midway through the opening frame. The feisty forward went one-on-one with McCabe and pulled a spin move in tight but his backhand shot glanced off Fleury’s pad.
Late in the second, Garland sliced a crisp pass to Vasily Podkolzin as he crashed the net, only to see the Russian rookie’s shot ping off the post.
Dylan Strome nearly opened the scoring for Chicago with about four minutes to go in the first after J.T. Miller turned a puck over right in front of the Canucks’ crease. Strome picked it up and blasted a shot off, narrowly missing the far post.
Vancouver managed a minor milestone Sunday as it killed off three penalties. The team came into the game with the league’s worst penalty kill at 60.3 per cent.
The Canucks will kick off a four-game road trip Wednesday when they face the Penguins in Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks visit the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday.
NOTES: It was the second time the two sides met this season after Vancouver took a 4-1 decision in Chicago on Oct. 21. … Blackhawks defenceman Seth Jones saw his eight-game point streak come to an end. He had two goals and six assists across the stretch. … The Canucks haven’t won consecutive games since Oct. 23.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
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