More Sports / Ice Hockey

Jake Virtanen sparks Canucks with two-goal performance in victory over Blackhawks

Reuters

Jake Virtanen scored two goals, and the host Vancouver Canucks added two more goals in the third period to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Wednesday night.

Virtanen now has three goals in two games after producing just one assist in his previous eight contests.

“It definitely gives me that confidence with the puck now, and I’ve gotta keep going,” said Virtanen of his scoring streak during an interview with Sportsnet during the first intermission.

The injury-riddled Canucks posted their second consecutive win. The Blackhawks dropped their third in a row (0-2-1).

Brendan Gaunce supplied the winning goal in the third period and added an assist, and Antoine Roussel also scored for the Canucks.

Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for the Blackhawks.

Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 24 of 26 shots, while Chicago’s Corey Crawford blocked 24 of 28.

Chicago played without winger Patrick Kane, who is tied for first place in league scoring, due to illness.

Saad put the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first as he took a lead pass from Chris Kunitz, split Vancouver’s defense and squeezed a shot through Markstrom at 6:56 of the opening period.

Virtanen pulled the Canucks even with 4:27 left in the first period thanks to a lucky breakaway. The winger was well behind the play when Saad’s botched pass eluded Brent Seabrook.

The puck came to Virtanen near center ice, and he beat Crawford with a high shot on his glove side. The goal was the second in two games for Virtanen, who had only one point in his previous eight contests.

Toews gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead on a power play 1:05 into the second period. The goal came as Vancouver defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s cross-checking penalty in the final minute of the first period carried over to the middle frame.