The Vancouver Canucks continued to pay for Todd Bertuzzi's March 8 assault on Colorado rookie Steve Moore when the Blackhawks emerged from a slump to score a 4-3 overtime victory at their expense Friday night at the United Center.
Tyler Arnason had a blast. He scored three goals, including the game-winner with 1 minute 44 seconds elapsed in overtime.
"Brian Berard saw me in front [of the net] and he threw a pass that kind of hit the goalie's stick," Arnason said. "I swung [at the puck] and it went in."
The victory was only the second in 11 games for the Hawks, whose record during that span reads 2-6-2-1.
Since Bertuzzi's suspension for the remainder of the season, the Canucks also have been shackled by a slump. Friday night's loss left the Pacific Division runners-up with a 1-2-2-1 record since the big right wing who had scored 17 goals and assisted on 43 in 69 games, was removed from their roster by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Early in the second period it looked like the Hawks were on the verge of a decisive victory. Arnason's first two goals and another by defenseman Jim Vandermeer during a span of 5 minutes 16 seconds gave them a 3-1 lead. Both Arnason's first goal and Vandermeer's score came on power plays.
But after Vandermeer scored from the point at 6:53, Vancouver coach Marc Crawford replaced starting goalie Johan Hedberg with Alex Auld. The Canucks rallied around their rookie goalie and tied the score, thanks to Matt Cooke's second period power-play goal and Trevor Linden's goal in a delayed penalty situation early in the third.
Auld made 19 saves in keeping the Hawks off the scoreboard until Arnason scored his 20th goal in the overtime session and gave the Hawks their first hat trick of the season.
"I think [Arnason] can be a big-time impact offensive player in this league," Sutter said. "In the last month, he's headed in that direction."