- Scott Powers, Reporter
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How it happened: The Blackhawks broke a 1-1 with two goals during a span of 2 minutes, 27 seconds in the third period. The Blackhawks went ahead 2-1 when Jonathan Toews knocked in a loose puck at 8:04; Marcus Kruger then gave Chicago a two-goal advantage when he stole the puck at the Canucks’ blue line and went in for the score. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford held the Canucks to one goal while making 35 saves. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Teuvo Teravainen scored off a rebound at 6:51 of the first period. The Canucks tied the game when Derek Dorsett intercepted Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival's pass in the Blackhawks’ zone and scored in the slot. Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack had 35 saves.
What it means: The Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot for the seventh consecutive season. They are on a three-game winning streak and improved to 47-24-6. They remain in third place in the Central Division with 100 points after the St. Louis Blues, who have 101 points, also won on Thursday. Both teams trail the Nashville Predators, who have 103 points and were idle on Thursday. The Blackhawks moved five points ahead of the Minnesota Wild, who lost Thursday.
Player of the game: Kruger had a goal and a primary assist. It’s his second multi-point game of the season.
Stat of the game: The Blackhawks won 41 of 63 faceoffs.
What’s next: The Blackhawks travel to play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. It’s the Blackhawks’ last set of back-to-back games in the regular season. The Blackhawks defeated the Sabres 6-2 on Oct. 11 in their only other meeting this season.
The Blackhawks used a two-goal flurry in the third period to tame the Canucks and earn a seventh consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs.