It won’t ease the pain of being eliminated in each of the last two playoff seasons, but the Vancouver Canucks have to be feeling good about themselves after an emotional 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena on Friday night.
Not that their coach wasn’t trying to downplay the pleasure of beating the team that knocked them out of the postseason in 2009 and last spring.
“Obviously, we knew we were playing the Stanley Cup champions,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said after his team also atoned for a 7-1 home loss to the Hawks on Nov. 20. “But to say there was more at stake than two points would be false. It was another game to try to get better and prove ourselves.”
Daniel Sedin took over the NHL scoring lead when he took twin brother Henrik’s pass in the slot and fired a shot that hit Chicago defender Dave Bolland and went over the blocker of goalie Marty Turco with 4 minutes left, snapping a 3-3 tie.
Daniel also had an assist to pass Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos with 69 points. Henrik, the NHL scoring leader last season, had a goal and a pair of assists, while Christian Ehrhoff and Mikael Samuelsson also scored for the Canucks, who lead the overall standings with 77 points, four more than Philadelphia, and are nine ahead of Detroit for first place in the West.