For much of their six-game trip, the Blackhawks were living somewhat of a charmed life. The trip ended Sunday night, and so did the charm.
The Hawks, who picked up six points on the trip with two victories and two overtime losses using mostly grit and determination, fell 2-0 to the Canucks and goaltender Robert Luongo in front of 18,630 at General Motors Place.
Their record on the road swing fell to 2-2-2 and 12-9-2 overall.
During the trip the Hawks beat the Detroit Red Wings and the Calgary Flames, and they gained two points with overtime losses in Nashville and Edmonton despite sometimes inconsistent five-on-five play and being short-handed due to injuries and illness. The Hawks were also beaten in Columbus to begin the road swing.
But Luongo was too much to overcome Sunday night. He made 27 saves to record his second shutout of the season.
"He made some great saves on the power play, especially at the end," said Patrick Kane, who had three shots on goal. "I guess that's why he's the top goaltender in the league."
Luongo was at his best with Willie Mitchell in the penalty box for tripping with 5 minutes 36 seconds left in the third period.
"I think we maybe had four or five, maybe six chances there, and he stoned us," Kane said. "He's a great goaltender, and that's what he's there to do."
The Hawks got a strong effort out of their own goalie, Patrick Lalime, who was in net to give starter Nikolai Khabibulin the night off as the Hawks played their third game in four nights.
"It was a good effort, like a playoff game," said Lalime, who made 28 saves. "It was a close game until the end. We did a lot of good things and just came up short, but it was a good effort."
The Canucks took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Brendan Morrison worked his way to the front of the net during a power play and fired a forehand shot past Lalime for his seventh goal of the season.
After that the goalies took center stage. The Canucks didn't seal the game until Daniel Sedin's empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining.
"We had a lot of chances to score, and we did a good job with a lot of good penalty killing, blocking shots," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It was a good effort by everybody. Obviously Luongo is a great goaltender, and we needed second and third chances to get it by him."
One-timersTuomo Ruutu, who missed Saturday night's loss to the Oilers in Edmonton with the flu, was back in the lineup Sunday night. Leading goal scorer Patrick Sharp, however, sat out his second straight game with the flu. ... Fellow winger Jason Williams missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury. Petri Kontiola, called up Sunday from Rockford of the American Hockey League to bolster the wing position, played in his first NHL game on a line with Kris Versteeg and Dustin Byfuglien. ... Defenseman James Wisniewski suffered a deep cut above his left eye after being checked into the boards in the first period. He left the game and did not return.