Elias Pettersson’s 2 goals lift Canucks over Blackhawks 4-2

CHICAGO (AP) — Elias Pettersson scored twice, Phillip Di Giuseppe scored, Brock Boeser hit an empty net and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Sunday night.

The Canucks won their third straight win and sent the Blackhawks to their fifth straight loss.

The Blackhawks celebrated Pride Night honoring the city’s gay community without the rainbow-colored Pride pre-match jerseys or colored tape used in previous seasons. The organization’s decision to forgo the pre-match jerseys came because of an anti-gay Kremlin law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December that could endanger Russian athletes if they return.

Defenseman Nikita Zaitsev was the only Russian-born Blackhawk in Sunday’s lineup. Injured center Philipp Kurashev has dual Swiss-Russian citizenship.

Pettersson scored his 34th and 35th goals of the season in the third period. His first, a low-angle shot from the right, broke the tie at 12:06. His second, on a power play, came 63 seconds later from the middle of a pile-up. Andrei Kuzmenko assisted on both goals.

“Listen, I’m glad we won,” said Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet. “I just didn’t like our start. We ended up being substituted on.”

Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy opened the scoring by beating Canuck goaltender Collin Delia with a 55-foot handball shot 3:59 in the first period. It was Murphy’s sixth goal of the season, who last scored on Jan. 23.

“I think we just stuck with it, no matter the situation,” Delia said. “We kept going. I think that’s just a testament to our group. That’s the kind of habit we’re trying to build. Just the commitment we have to each other day to day, the little habits, the practice habits.

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“We’re just reaping the rewards of it.”

Di Giuseppe equalized 17 seconds from the end of the second half with 17 seconds to go, his centering pass from the right slot blasting off Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones’ left instep and into the Chicago net. Goalkeeper Petr Mrazek couldn’t react to the distraction.

Rookie Lukas Reichel scored his fifth goal of the season to draw Chicago 3-2 with 1:42 left, but an empty goal from Vancouver’s Boeser ended the goal.

Delia stopped 29 shots in his ninth win. Mrazek made 27 saves in his 20th loss.

Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi went into the locker room midway through the second half with an injury and didn’t return.

“When you go five deep, you have to try to decide when to come in and be aggressive,” Jones said of playing with an odd number of defenders. “I thought we did a good job.”


Ahead of the game, Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said of Pride night, “I’m grateful to be a part of it. I know the whole organization is committed 365 days a year, not just today. That’s the biggest message we want to convey to the community – support.”

Richardson and defense attorney Murphy addressed gay fans in a scoreboard video during the first commercial break. Murphy concluded by saying, “You’re welcome here.”

After the game, Murphy said the players didn’t use rainbow tape on their sticks because it wasn’t available, adding, “Sometimes they have it here for us and we use it. If it isn’t, we don’t use it. That is everything I know.”

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Canucks: in St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Blackhawks: host Dallas on Tuesday night. ___

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Source : www.cbsnews.com

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