Ladd, who played on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa,
scored the winning goal with 2:27 left in the third period as the
Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Sunday to clinch a
Ladd has three goals in his last two games and nine points (six
goals, three assists) in 13 games since being acquired by the
Blackhawks in a Feb. 25 trade with Winnipeg.
"Every game you are getting more comfortable," said Ladd, who was
part of Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup champion team. "You know what to
expect from each other.
"It's getting better each and every game. We're just starting to
figure out exactly the way we need to play as a threesome and
hopefully it will only get better."
Ladd's goal was an example of the chemistry that has formed on the
line. Toews and Hossa had a two-on-one breakaway. Instead of
shooting, Toews dropped the puck back to Ladd, who beat Vancouver
goaltender Ryan Miller for his 23rd goal of the season.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Ladd has stepped up his game.
"I love the way he's played the last couple of games," said
Quenneville. "He brings that presence and has had some pace to his
game and some energy. He was rewarded with some huge goals for us."
Miller said he didn't expect the shot to come from Ladd.
"I had Toews and Hossa, lefty, left, assuming there was a shot,"
said Miller, who stopped 29 shots in his 48th start of the season.
"He (Toews) made an interesting play.
"Hossa came to the net and disrupted everything. It was
The Canucks, who were eliminated from the playoff race in a 4-0 loss
to St. Louis Friday, had nothing to play for but still battled
Chicago to the end.
Ladd wasn't surprised with the fight Vancouver showed.
"It's still a dogfight in the standings for position," he said. "You
are playing against a team with nothing to lose and a lot of young
guys that are trying to prove something. It can go either way."
Tomas Fleischmann and Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the
Blackhawks (44-25-7). Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk had two
Chicago, which qualified for the playoffs for the eighth consecutive
season, is third in the Central Division of the Western Conference
with 95 points. The Blackhawks sit fourth in the West, tied with
L.A. and three ahead of Anaheim.
[to top of second column]
The Blackhawks, who beat Calgary 4-1 Saturday night, won consecutive
games for the first time since March 2. They are 4-5-2 in their last
Fleischmann said the win shows Chicago is returning to the form that
saw the team manage a franchise-high 12-game win streak from Dec. 29
to Jan. 19.
"We didn't have a good stretch the last two weeks but we are trying
to figure it out before playoffs," he said. "I think we are on the
right path going into the last games."
Alex Burrows and Sven Baertschi scored for the Canucks (27-35-13),
who saw their losing streak extended to eight games (0-7-1).
Vancouver has been outscored 25-7 in that stretch and has been shut
out four times in the past six games.
Baertschi, who has a career-high 15 goals this season, saw some
positives in the loss.
"I thought we won a lot of puck battles," he said. "We created a lot
of chances. We spent some solid time in their zone."
Burrows said the Canucks, who have had nine players make their NHL
debut this year, are on a learning curve.
"We're not that far off," said the 34-year-old veteran. "We need
guys to grow. We need guys to learn the system and apply it the
"It's just finding ways, battling and competing. I'm sure we will be
Chicago goaltender Scott Darling, making back-to-back starts for the
first time in his career, stopped 26 shots for Chicago.
NOTES: G Jacob Markstrom (11-12-4) set a career high with 26 starts
this season. ... The Canucks missed the playoffs twice in the last
three years and four times in the last 11. ... D Andrey Pedan, who
has recorded at least two hits in his first eight NHL games, was a
healthy scratch. ... RW Derek Dorsett (upper body) didn't dress. ...
The Canucks end a two-game homestand Tuesday against San Jose. ...
Blackhawks LW Richard Panik, C Artem Anisimov, D Michal Rozsival, LW
Brandon Mashinter and D Erik Gustafsson were scratches. ... Chicago
G Corey Crawford (upper body) is not on the four-game road trip. ...
RW Dale Weise, who was a healthy scratch in Saturday's 4-1 win over
Calgary, returned to the lineup.... D Christian Ehrhoff, who has
been a scratch in six of 11 games since coming to Chicago in a Feb.
26 trade from L.A., dressed. ... The Blackhawks' road trip continues
Tuesday in Minnesota.
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.