Canucks beat Blackhawks 5-2, stop 7-game slide
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By JAY COHEN
CHICAGO (AP) The Vancouver Canucks have struggled to score since rookie Brock Boeser was shelved by a back injury.
They got some help Thursday night from an unlikely source.
Alexander Edler scored twice in his fourth career multigoal game, and the Canucks stopped a seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the sliding Chicago Blackhawks.
Henrik Sedin and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist as Vancouver won for the first time since Boeser got hurt late in regulation of a 4-3 overtime victory against the New York Islanders on March 5. The Canucks (26-39-9) scored seven goals during their slide, which included three consecutive shutouts.
"I don't think we played a perfect game, but it was nice to get a win," Edler said.
Chicago (30-36-9) closed out a three-game homestand with its fifth consecutive loss. Jean-Francois Berube was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and Anton Forsberg finished with eight saves.
The Blackhawks played without captain Jonathan Toews, who is out with an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated next week. Toews got hurt during Tuesday night's 5-1 loss to Colorado, which officially eliminated Chicago from playoff contention.
Nick Schmaltz and Matthew Highmore scored for Chicago, which has lost seven of eight overall. The Blackhawks have allowed at least five goals in each of their last five games.
"It's something we're working on. We talk every day about limiting other team's chances," Schmaltz said. "Whether we're not coming back hard enough or turning pucks over at the blue line, I think we can do a better job of that."
Schmaltz picked up his 21st of the season when he got a piece of Brent Seabrook's big slap shot from the right circle at 8:02 of the first, tying it at 1. The Canucks took over from there.
Sedin made it 2-1 when he jumped on a rebound and knocked it by Berube with 2:18 left in the first. It was Sedin's first goal since Nov. 14 and just his third of the season.
"It's a good feeling, but I put zero thought into not scoring," Sedin said. "I felt good for the most part. I mean two goals is not good, but there's been other guys scoring around me. That's helped."
Horvat scored on a rush in the second, and Edler chased Berube when he sent a long slap shot under the goaltender's left arm 9:38 into the period. The veteran defenseman matched his career best with his first two-goal game since 2011 and No. 4 overall.
"You need offense from your back end," coach Travis Green said. "Nice to see Eddie get a couple goals tonight."
Brent Sutter added his eighth 3:24 into the third, making it 5-1 Vancouver. The Blackhawks got one back when Highmore scored with 3:33 left, but the Canucks were never seriously threatened.
"I think we're doing a lot of good things," Highmore said. "It's just momentary lapses. In this league, if you don't play a full 60 minutes, teams make you pay."
NOTES: Canucks F Brendan Leipsic departed with an upper-body injury. ... Horvat reached 20 goals for the second straight season. "To get it in back-to-back years, that gives me confidence moving forward," he said. ... Highmore returned to the lineup after he missed the loss to Colorado with an upper-body injury.
Canucks: Visit the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
Blackhawks: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
More NHL hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
Updated March 23, 2018