The Chicago Blackhawks remain winless after a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, falling to 0-4-1 on the season

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks added to one of the worst starts in franchise history, falling to 0-4-1 with a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Patrick Kane night Thursday at the United Center.

The Hawks already had set a team record Tuesday by going four straight games to start a season without holding a lead, which came as a result of their 4-1 home-opening loss Tuesday to the New York Islanders. But they joined even worse company with their fifth such loss.

According to NHL Stats, the longest start without a lead is five games, done seven times, most recently by the New Jersey Devils in 2015-16.

The Hawks had been spoiling to be the first on the board, talking about it for several days, but it was not to be. The Canucks’ Jason Dickinson one-timed a dish from below the goal line from former Hawk Matthew Highmore 6 minutes, 36 seconds into the game.

This time, at least, the Hawks didn’t have long to stew about another early deficit.

Alex DeBrincat ripped a top-shelf power play goal past Thatcher Demko 1:50 later. It was their fifth man-advantage goal (on their 16th try) compared with three goals from five-on-five situations. The Hawks finished 1-for-4 on the power play.

They entered the game ranked 11th in power-play percentage (28.6%).

In the second, Tanner Pearson’s tip-in goal ratcheted up the pressure on the Hawks.

The Hawks saw their penalty-kill streak end at 11. During their 12th try, Connor Murphy slashed Alex Chiasson, and Brock Boeser scored with the 5-on-3 advantage. The Hawks stopped the Canucks’ other three power plays.


The Hawks had plenty of near-misses.

After languishing on the bench for the first four games, Dylan Strome saw his first action of the season and nearly scored 22 seconds into his first shift about a 90 seconds into the game.

Early in the second, Brandon Hagel had a two-on-one going with Patrick Kane, but Kane fired high. Before the game, the Hawks paid tribute to Kane’s 1,000th career game (set on the road March 9 against the Dallas Stars), and Jonathan Toews presented him with a silver stick.

In the third period, Kane missed back-to-back on potential connections with Seth Jones and DeBrincat, and Kubalik’s centering pass to Kane on a breakout was broken up by Tyler Myers.

With less than eight minutes left, Strome set up Toews for a one-time rocket, but Demko denied him.

Conor Garland added an empty-netter with a minute left, and for a second straight home game the Hawks were booed off the ice.

Demko had 29 saves and Lankinen 21.

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