Vancouver Canucks Take Decisive Lead in Quarter Finals

Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2

CHICAGO (AP) – All night long the Chicago Blackhawks seemed to have extra men on the ice. Seven power plays gave the defending Stanley Cup champions plenty of scoring chances in a game they desperately needed to win.

It’s just that Vancouver goalie Robert Luongo was there to turn most of those opportunities away.

Luongo finished with 30 saves Sunday night and the Canucks beat the Blackhawks 3-2 to take a 3-0 lead. They can complete the sweep of the opening-round series Tuesday night at the United Center.

“A couple of saves there. Just a little bit of luck and it gives me a chance,” Luongo said.

“It’s my job, obviously, to make the save at key times. Usually you get an adrenaline boost off that and obviously we were able to turn the tables and get two goals in the second. I was into the game early and into the crowd.”

Mikael Samuelsson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period in another rough-and-tumble meeting between two teams that know each other well.

Christian Ehrhoff and Daniel Sedin also scored for the Canucks, who’d been knocked out of the playoffs the last two years in the second round by Chicago.

Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp had power-play goals for the Blackhawks. Keith’s goal put the Blackhawks up 1-0 and later they had a two-man advantage, but couldn’t extend the lead.

“I think Roberto did his job, a great job in the first period when we got in penalty trouble. That’s one thing against this team, they’ve got such a high level of skill and such a great power-play that you don’t want to get into penalty trouble,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “Especially on that 5-on-3, he kept us in. He gave us a chance to hang around and find a way to win.”


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