Ladd scores late as Blackhawks top slumping Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks suffered their eighth consecutive loss thanks to Andrew Ladd’s late game-winner to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win.

VANCOUVER — Andrew Ladd scored the game-winning goal with just over two minutes to play in the third period to help the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

Jonathan Toews stickhandled into the Canucks zone before dropping a pass in the high slot to Ladd, who hammered home a one-timer for his 23rd goal of the season and sixth in 13 games with Chicago.

Ladd was coming off a three-point night against Calgary on Saturday in which he scored two goals and added an assist.

With the win, the defending-champion Blackhawks officially clinched a playoff spot for the eighth straight year.

Chicago’s Trevor van Riemsdyk had two assists for the visitors, while Tomas Fleischmann and Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Blackhawks (44-25-7).

Vancouver’s Alexandre Burrows and Sven Baertschi had the goals for the Canucks (27-35-13) while Emerson Etem had a two-assist night.

Chicago earned back-to-back wins for the first time since Mar. 2 while Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling made 26 saves for his ninth victory of the season.

Baertschi evened the game 2-2 with just over five minutes left in the third period when he converted an Etem feed.

Teravainen had put Chicago ahead early in the third period when he put home a nifty passing play between Patrick Kane and van Riemsdyk, slamming home a quick one-timer from the back door.

Vancouver is winless in its last eight games and have scored seven goals in that span.

Fleischmann opened the scoring for Chicago with his 14th goal of the season late in the first period before Burrows responded midway through the second period, banging home his first goal in 10 games.

Burrows’ ninth goal of the season came at 11:29 when he took a bouncing pass from Linden Vey in the slot and snapped the puck past Darling on the blocker side. After battle in the corner, Etem got the puck to Vey behind the net, who smacked it in front of the net, where the puck found Burrows.

Fleischmann opened the scoring with a quick wrister from the slot at 17:42 of the first. Taking a hard pass from van Riemsdyk, the Blackhawks winger sniped his offering through traffic and past the blocker of Ryan Miller, who finished with 29 saves.

NOTES: Chicago is now 14-3-3 against Pacific Division teams… Prior to their Saturday night win over Calgary, the Blackhawks had won just one of their previous seven outings… Regular starter Corey Crawford is not on the road trip due to an upper-body injury… Chicago continues a four-game road trip Tuesday in Minnesota… the Canucks, who were back at home after playing four of five on the road, host San Jose Tuesday… The Blackhawks are now 25-1-2 when leading after the first period.

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