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Canucks close in on sweep of Blackhawks

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Associated Press
April 18, 2011
— 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.


During Chicago’s two-man advantage, Luongo had great saves seconds apart on Chicago’s two young stars, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.


“I had my chances tonight. I should have buried a couple,” Kane said. “Especially on the 5-on-3—I missed a shot like that. It’s probably why the game is lost.”


n Rangers 3, Capitals 2—Brandon Dubinsky broke a tie with 1:39 left and host New York beat Washington to cut the Capitals’ lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series.


After the Rangers managed only one goal in two losses at Washington, Dubinsky, Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen figured out young Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth.


Henrik Lundqvist was sharp again, making 24 saves. New York got 35 shots through on Neuvirth after a combined 47 in the opening two games.


Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, and Mike Knuble also scored for the Capitals.


Game 4 is in New York on Wednesday night.


n Predators 4, Ducks 3—At Nashville, Tenn., Mike Fisher scored the go-ahead goal at 10:21 of the third period, and Nashville took advantage of Bobby Ryan sitting out the first of his two-game suspension by beating Anaheim to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference series.


The NHL suspended Ryan on Saturday for stomping Predators defenseman Jonathon Blum’s foot late in the Ducks’ 5-3 victory Friday night. Ryan also will miss Game 4 on Wednesday night in Nashville.


Martin Erat had a power-play goal and an assist, David Legwand and Jordin Tootoo also scored, and Ryan Suter had two assists for Nashville. Teemu Selanne scored twice, Matt Beleskey added a goal, and Corey Perry had two assists for Anaheim.



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