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Canucks get win over Blackhawks



CHICAGO – Roberto Luongo made sure Vancouver’s early lead stood up instead of slipping away.

The Canucks offset the Chicago Blackhawks’ speed with better puck control and tougher defense and quieted the raucous crowd at the United Center with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night that gave them a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

“That was our game plan tonight, not to feed their transition,” Luongo said. “The had a lot of scoring chances the last couple of games because of it. Our defensemen did a good job in front of the net.”

Even without versatile defenseman Sami Salo, sidelined by an injury, Vancouver kept the Blackhawks from getting up and down the ice like they did in Game 2 when they pulled out a 6-3 victory.

“We were able to shut down one of the most skilled and best transition teams I’ve seen in a long time,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. We’re going to keep it high percentage. I think if we do that and play a good puck possession game, we give ourselves a better chance to win.”

Game 4 is back at the United Center on Thursday night before the series returns to Vancouver for Game 5 on Saturday night.

After surrendering eight goals in the first two games of the series at Vancouver, Luongo finished with 23 saves Tuesday, including a spectacular stop on Dave Bolland when the Blackhawks had a power play early in the third period.

Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks late in the first to give them the lead for the third straight game, and Steve Bernier’s goal during a power play early in the second put Vancouver up by two.

Henrik Sedin’s fourth goal of the playoffs made it 3-0 in the second.

But Brian Campbell’s slap shot from the high circle on a power play – with Chicago’s burly Dustin Byfuglien in the crease – cut the lead to 3-1 as the crowd that had been quiet for most of the night quickly erupted, hoping that another comeback was on its way.

But Luongo didn’t let this lead slip.

The Blackhawks had rallied from 3-0 and 2-0 deficits in Games 1 and 2 and earned a split, but there was no comeback this time.

Luongo also made a nice stop on Jonathan Toews with about 10 minutes left when the Blackhawks captain tried to stuff the puck in from the side.

“When we did make a few mistakes in the third period, Roberto made the saves he had to make,” Vigneault said.

Luongo, who’s had done some trash talking with the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Byfuglien when he comes near the goal throughout the series, said he wanted to say something to him after the Canucks’ victory.Byfuglien was called for goaltender interference early in the game.

“Unfortunately after the game I was going to congratulate him, but he skated away with his head down. I’m sure we’ll talk next game,” Luongo said.

Ducks beat Wings again

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Teemu Selanne scored in the first period, Scott Niedermayer added a goal in the second, and Jonas Hiller made 18 saves in the third for the Anaheim Ducks, who held on for a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night and grabbed a 2-1 lead in Western Conference semifinal series.

After building the first multiple-goal lead of the series, Hiller and the Ducks survived a third-period barrage by the defending champion Red Wings to post the win.

Detroit nearly tied the game with 1:09 remaining when Marian Hossa dived to knock in a loose puck in front of Hiller, but referee Brad Watson lost sight of the puck and whistled the play dead before the purported goal.

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