Canucks beat Blackhawks to take 3-0 series lead

Mikael Samuelsson (Samuelsson)

Roberto Luongo made 30 saves and Mikael Samuelsson scored the game winner as the Vancouver Canucks took a 3-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks with a 3-2 victory Sunday night.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin continued their strong play getting two points each on the night. Christian Ehrhoff also had a goal and an assist for Vancouver.

Jonathan Toews got his first two points of the playoffs for the Blackhawks with two assists on the night. Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp were on the receiving end each scoring their first.

But the night was all about Luongo’s timely saves in penalty kill situations.

VANCOUVER, CHICAGO BOX SCORE

Keith opened the scoring for the Blackhawks 6:54 into the first period. Toews won the offensive zone face off right back to Keith who wasted no time blasting a well placed shot past Luongo’s glove. The Vancouver net minder may have been partially screened on the play by forward Ryan Kesler who was attempting to block the shot. The goal marked both the first on the power play, as well as the first lead of the series for Chicago.

Chicago was awarded 5-on-3 power play at 10:55 of the opening frame when Kevin Bieksa took an elbowing penalty with Raffi Torres already off roughing. The Hawks had many chances, the best of which was by Patrick Kane on a rebound. Luongo made a great reaction save with his glove and managed to kill of both penalties to keep the score 1-0.

Ehrhoff replied for the Canucks on the power play at 10:03 in the second period. Eight seconds into the man advantage Alex Edler shot the puck through a Marian Hossa block attempt and past the glove of Corey Crawford.

Crawford made 23 saves on the night.

Less than a minute later Vancouver defenceman Edler broke into Chicago’s zone during a line change. He centered the puck to Daniel who made no mistake depositing it into an open net. Sedin’s fourth point of the series gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead.

Sharp tied the game 2-2 with a power-play goal at 12:40 of the second period. Taking a pass from Toews who was stationed behind the net, Sharp wasted no time shooting it past Luongo’s blocker.

The penalty came after Torres threw a questionable hit on Brent Seabrook behind the Blackhawks net. Seabrook returned for two shifts but left the bench after taking another hard hit from Torres. He did not return until the start of the third period.

Mikael Samuelsson scored his first of the playoffs on a backhander at 6:48 of the third period. Crawford was able to make two saves after giving up juicy rebounds in a scramble in front of his net, but the third time was the charm for the Swede who’s goal ended up being the game winner.

Game four of the series is on Tuesday night where the Canucks have the chance to sweep the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Notes: Chicago forwards Tomas Kopecky and Brian Bickell have been injured to far in the series, they did not play…Dave Bolland missed his third game of the series with a concussion….Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson returned after missing game two with an illness…Aaron Rome and Cody Hodgson were scratched for Vancouver…Ryan Johnson was scratched for Chicago.