He still hasn’t been credited with scoring during a game but Vancouver Canucks rookie Jordan Schroeder managed the goal that beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-1 shootout Friday night.
Appearing in his first NHL shootout, the 22-year-old looked like a veteran as he broke in fast, then fired a low, hard shot that squeaked through the pads of Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.
“I wanted to go in with some speed and wide,” said Schroeder, who helped the Canucks improve their record to 4-2-2.
“I came back to the middle and changed my pace of speed. I froze him. He opened up the five hole a little bit and it trickled through.”
Defenceman Alex Edler had given the Canucks a 1-0 lead in the first period before Chicago’s Patrick Kane tied the game at 9:42 of the third. The Blackhawks suffered their second consecutive shootout loss after starting the season with six victories.
Crawford had stopped Alex Burrows, Zack Kassian and Maxim Lapierre before Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault tapped Schroeder. The rookie wasn’t totally surprised he got the call.
“We have been working on it,” he said. “I knew my name would get called. I was fortunate enough to get one and score.”
Vigneault said the Canucks have been practising the shootout and collecting feedback from the goaltenders and goalie coach Roland Melanson.
“They have been sharing the information on who they feel is better suited to help us out,” said Vigneault. “We get that information . . . and make the best decision we can for the team.”
Chicago controlled the five-minute overtime, outshooting Vancouver 4-1. The Blackhawks were also awarded a power play with 1:11 left when Vancouver defenceman Jason Garrison was called for high sticking.
Chicago, who outshot Vancouver 28-22, was 0 for 5 on the power play.
“It’s tough to lose in a shootout,” Kane said. “I thought in the third we played pretty well.
“It seemed like we were all over them, but they are a tough team. They’re always going to be a rival and come out to play hard against us, especially in their building.”
Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo, coming off a shutout against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, turned in another solid performance.
In the second period he gloved a blast from Brandon Saad and calmly blocked a long shot from Dave Bolland. In the first period he stopped Marian Hossa on a breakaway, then dragged a leg in front of a Brent Seabrook blast during a Chicago power play.
“Sometimes you get in a rhythm,” said Luongo. “You are seeing the puck and getting bounces.
“When you’re in that zone you want to keep it going as long as possible and take advantage of it.”
During the shootout Luongo stopped Jonathan Toews, Kane, Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy.
Vancouver’s Mason Raymond had a great scoring chance late in the third. His hard shot went through Crawford’s pads and slid across the open net.
The Blackhawks used speed and some pretty passing to attack Vancouver.
Despite being drawn out of position at times the Canuck defence managed to force the Blackhawks to the outside and blocked plenty of shots.
“It was a very tight game, not a lot of room on both sides,” said Luongo. “We played our system extremely well.
“They were kept to the outside most of the night. I was fighting a little bit to see the puck on some shots but we were tying them up so they weren’t getting any whacks at it.”
Bolland left the game in the third period. Coach Joel Quenneville called it a lower-body injury but said he would know more Saturday.
One of the most anticipated games of the season had more subplots than an episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Luongo, the goaltender the Canucks have been trying to trade since June, made his third consecutive start. Cory Schneider, who expected to be the No. 1 goalie this season, watched from the bench.
It was also the first meeting between the teams since the March 21 game where Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith delivered a vicious elbow to Daniel Sedin’s head. Sedin suffered a concussion and missed the rest of the regular season plus the first three games of the playoffs. Keith was given a five-game suspension.
The crowed booed Keith each time he touched the puck. There was a cheer in the second period when Henrik Sedin bounced Keith into the boards.
Notes: The Canucks wore the Vancouver Millionaires “V” patch on their sweaters to celebrate the team that won the 1915 Stanley Cup against the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association. ... Wes Rypien, brother of former Canuck Rick Rypien who committed suicide, participated in a ceremonial opening faceoff. ... Henrik Sedin played his 900th game as a Canuck. ... Canuck grinder Dale Weise played despite missing practice Thursday with a stiff neck. Weise fought Cody McLeod during Vancouver’s 3-0 win Wednesday. ... Vancouver’s next game is Monday in Edmonton.