Canucks blank Blackhawks in Chicago

Roberto Luongo was in vintage form, and helped the Vancouver
Canucks extract a measure of revenge against the Chicago
Blackhawks.

Luongo made 32 saves for his second shutout of the season and
53rd overall, leading the Canucks to their fourth straight victory,
3-0 over Chicago on Friday night.

Tanner Glass, Christian Ehrhoff and Henrik Sedin scored to give
the Canucks and Luongo the all the offense they needed to avenge a
7-1 home loss to the Blackhawks on Nov. 20.

And Stanley Cup champion Chicago suffered its eighth regulation
loss at home, matching its regular-season total from last season.
The Blackhawks are 6-8-0 at home after going 29-8-4 last season at
United Center.

”These are fun games to be part of,” Luongo said. ”We always
get up up for games against the Blackhawks, so it’s nice to get the
win, especially after our last one.”

The Canucks and Blackhawks have an evolving, spirited rivarly.
Chicago has eliminated Vancouver from the playoffs in the past two
seasons, each time in the second round.

On Friday, the Canucks prevailed because Luongo came up with
several dazzling and point-blank stops to thwart prime scoring
chances. The Blackhawks winning streak ended at three games
although they dominated play at times and outshot Vancouver
32-18.

”That’s what we need from him every night,” Glass said. ”He’s
a heck of a goalie when he’s on and he was stellar tonight. Tonight
we gave up more chance than we usually do, but that’s why Lou makes
the big bucks.”

Sedin’s goal was his first since Nov. 4, only his third of the
year and ended an 11-game drought. He led the NHL with 112 points
last season on 29 goals and 83 assists.

”A win in Chicago, it’s always fun,” Sedin said. ”Maybe more
fun because we’ve played a lot in the playoffs the last couple of
years.”

Veteran Marty Turco was back in nets for Chicago and made 15
saves. Rookie Corey Crawford started the Blackhawks’ three previous
games.

”(Vancouver) had some good chances, but they were single-digit,
too” Turco said. ”We had ample chances to score, but Luongo made
some good saves.”

”They didn’t come at us hard and weren’t in our face every
single shift,” Chicago captain Jonathan Toews added. ”We weren’t
good enough tonight.”

The Blackhawks controlled the scoreless first, outshooting
Vancouver 14-8 and testing Luongo with several prime chances. His
best stops were on Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland and Toews in the
second half of the period.

Chicago kept up the pressure in the second, and Luongo matched
it. He made a pad save on Sharp at 7:44 after Sharp and Jack Skille
slipped behind the defense and raced in on a 2-on-none. Less than a
minute later, Luongo denied Patrick Kane with an acrobatic pad stop
on a 2-on-1 break.

Loungo’s effort started to pay off when Glass opened the scoring
with 8:42 left in the second on only the Canucks’ second shot of
the period. Glass shoveled in a loose puck from a scrum in the
crease after Dan Hamhuis’ shot hit traffic in front.

Chicago kept coming, however, and Loungo held his ground. With
25 seconds left in the second, he made a point-blank blocker save
on Toews after the Chicago captain beat Ryan Kesler and Alexander
Edler to skate in alone.

During a Blackhawks’ power-play just seconds into the third,
Chicago’s Tomas Kopecky fired a shot off the side of the net with
Luongo down.

The Canucks killed overlapping minor penalties to Raffi Torres
and Ehrhoff at start the third to set up the game’s turning
point.

Ehrhoff’s power-play goal at 5:06 of the third gave Vancouver a
2-0 lead. Following a faceoff, Ehrhoff’s shot from the right point
beat Turco as Kesler screened in front.

”We come right back and score on our side,” Vancouver coach
Alain Vigneault said. ”That was definitely the pressure moment in
the game and were able to capitalize.”

Sedin scored on a loose rebound of brother Daniel’s shot with
4:25 left to complete the scoring.

NOTES: The Blackhhawks observed a moment of silence before the
game for former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who died of
cancer early Friday. … Chicago RW Marian Hossa missed his second
game because of a lower-body injury sustained in practice Monday.
Blackhawks RW Fernando Pisani sat out his third with an upper-body
injury. … Vancouver C Rick Rypien missed his sixth game on
personal leave.