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Calls crease Hawks chances

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — It was a wild one. There were bad goals and bad calls. There were hard hits, punches thrown and pokes with sticks. It was another game in the always interesting Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks rivalry.

The Canucks came in as the league’s best team, leading the NHL in points. The Hawks were on the outside in the Western Conference playoff race

In the end — a 4-3 victory for the Canucks Friday at Rogers Arena — the Hawks showed they’re still a team to reckon with, while the ­Canucks showed a resiliency not seen last year when the teams met in the conference semifinals.

“It’s disappointing certainly, with the way we played,” goalie Marty Turco said. “We played a good game in a tough environment against a team that’s been playing as well as anybody. It is a little bit frustrating, for sure. I felt like we deserved better, but that’s the way it goes. But if we keep playing like that, we’ll be all right.”

Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner with four minutes remaining when he redirected Henrik Sedin’s pass, while special teams and goaltending played a huge role in the outcome.

Turco (28 saves) had a strong game, also surrendering two goals on the power play and one that shouldn’t have counted. But Roberto Luongo may have been better, making 42 saves.

The Hawks dominated at times and produced all sorts of good chances around Luongo — they even had a 5-on-3 power play — but he stood strong making stellar glove saves.

“Our goaltender was probably one of the best players on the ice,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “I know they had more scoring chances than we did.”

The Canucks power play produced, scoring twice, and their penalty kill was decisive, killing off all five of the Hawks power plays.

‘‘We had a lot of offensive opportunities, five-on-five [or] on the power play,” said Jonathan Toews, who led the Hawks with an impressive goal in the second and an assist on Nick Boynton’s first goal of the year.

‘‘We just didn’t finish. They have a hot power play too. We did some good things on the kill, but they just beat us with good passes and great plays.”

Early on, the bounces — and calls — didn’t go the Hawks’ way. Dave Bolland’s goal with five minutes left in the first was waved off because it was said Troy Brouwer was in the crease — although replays showed he wasn’t.

Minutes later, Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff jumped on a long rebound by Turco at the blue line and scored with a long shot despite replays showing that the puck was offside before the shot.

The Hawks had a big chance to extend their 2-1 lead in the second with a 5-on-3 power play, but Luongo stood strong. And his teammates responded as Mikael Samuelsson scored on the power play.

Consider it fate that Bolland gave the Hawks the lead 7:47 into the third when his backward flip of the puck at Luongo deflected off defenseman Christopher Tanev and in. But after that the Sedins struck twice.

“We just got to stay positive,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We did a lot of good things tonight. If we keep playing like that, we’ll definitely get our share of wins.”



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