Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 26 games, Dennis Rasmussen scored his second NHL goal and Corey Crawford recorded his second straight shutout in the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
The Hawks have now allowed zero goals in back-to-back games against Western Conference opponents after beating the Winnipeg Jets, 2-0, on Friday night. The fantastic weekend at the United Center for Chicago bumps the team into a tie for second place in the Central Division with the St. Louis Blues. Both teams have identical 17-10-4 records.
The scoring opened Sunday with a power play goal from defenseman Duncan Keith, who has now recorded 13 points in 15 games since returning from early-season surgery. Artemi Panarin set up the play by grabbing his own rebound after firing a shot off the iron before making a nice pass to a waiting Keith in the slot. Even though Keith didn't get off a perfect shot, Ryan Miller was unable to stop it:
Twenty-six and counting... https://t.co/bdlPV6lu5C— NHL (@NHL) December 14, 2015
Kane got a secondary assist on the play to push his historic point streak to 26 straight games. The winger had passed to Panarin before his shot off the post, and because there was never a change of possession or shot on goal recorded, he was still in line for the assist when Keith scored. Kane now has the longest point streak by any NHL player since Mats Sundin's 30-game run during the 1992-93 season.
The game remained a 1-0 affair until midway through the third period. That's when Rasmussen scored his second career NHL goal by tapping in a puck near the goal line after a driving set up from Bryan Bickell. That was part of a very solid stretch by the third line, which has definitely shown some new life since taking on this current arrangement a couple games ago.
And then at the end came the quick, ridiculous flurry. First, Andrew Shaw scored an empty-netter to seemingly cap things at 3-0. Seconds later, Brandon Mashinter scored his first career NHL goal to REALLY finish things off.
The past three games have been quite the roller coaster for Chicago. After getting crushed, 5-1, in Nashville, the Hawks have followed that game up with back-to-back shutouts behind the masterful play of Crawford. He was amazing again Sunday with 29 saves in 29 chances. It's been an inconsistent year for the goaltender, but man, he's still spectacular when he gets going.
The Hawks are now tied for second in the division with 38 points. The Canucks drop to 11-12-8, although their 30 points is still tied for the second-most in the struggling Pacific Division.