NHL: Luongo rebounds and so do Canucks
CHICAGO — Kevin Bieksa scored two goals, Roberto Luongo made 29 saves Sunday night and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to stay alive in the Western Conference semifinals.
Chicago leads the series 3-2 and now it heads back to Vancouver — where the Blackhawks captured Games 3-4 — for Game 6 on Tuesday night.
Vancouver, which gave up four power-play goals in a 7-4 loss in Game 4 on Friday night, played a more disciplined game based on speed. And the Canucks got the kind of performance they needed from Olympic gold medalist Luongo following three straight losses to the Blackhawks.
Christian Ehrhoff opened the scoring for the Canucks, just 59 seconds into the game, quickly quieting the crowd at the United Center who had hoped to see the Blackhawks make the conference finals for a second straight season.
The series winner will face San Jose.
Chicago finally scored with just more than 7 minutes left when Jonathan Toews tipped in a long shot from between the circles by Duncan Keith. Alex Burrows added an empty-netter for the Canucks with 44.6 seconds left.
Ehrhoff's long slapper from the right point just inside the blue line eluded a screened Antti Niemi to give the Canucks the early lead.
Luongo then stopped a shot by Toews from close-in at the left circle and also denied Patrick Sharp with Tomas Kopecky trying to screen the goalie.
Vancouver fought off a power play and Luongo was sharp, stopping a shot by Marian Hossa, his rebound attempt and then another attempt as he was skating in from the side
Bieksa was cutting to the crease and took a pretty pass from Kyle Wellwood, who was in the right circle, and got the puck under Niemi's glove for a 2-0 lead at 14:24 of the opening period. Bieksa's second goal came on a power play in the second period, a one-timer from deep in the left circle that got by Niemi with Burrows screening.
Canucks defenseman Sami Salo was injured late in the first period after apparently being hit by a puck. He did not return.
Salo apparently blocked a last-second slap shot from Keith in the opening period and went down in pain near the goal. He stayed on the ice for several moments after the period ended. He was able to finally get up and still doubled over, he was helped into the locker room.
Vancouver's Shane O'Brien left briefly after he was cut by Dustin Byfuglien's stick in the second period, but was able to return after taking stitches.
Luongo made another stellar save 3 minutes into the second, turning away Sharp from point-blank after he took a nice pass from Hossa following a Canucks' turnover.
NOTES: Toews, who had five points Friday night, has 19 in the playoffs. ... If necessary, Game 7 will be Thursday night in Chicago.