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Canucks v Blackhawks - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Canucks need better start to close out Hawks

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Expect it to be loud and expect the bodies to be flying on Thursday night as the Canucks look for the second time to close out their best-of-7 Western Conference quarterfinal-round series with the Blackhawks in Game 5 at Rogers Arena.

"It's very important," Ryan Kesler said of setting the tone early. "We got to have a good start and we got to continue it for 60 minutes."

In Games 1 and 2 the Canucks came out physical in the early going, hitting the Blackhawks at every opportunity. Vancouver out-hit Chicago 92-61 and took a 2-0 series lead heading to the Windy City.

Chicago responded much better in Games 3 and 4, out-hitting Vancouver 44-33 in a 7-2 win on Tuesday to extend the series.

Seabrook out again in Game 5 for Blackhawks

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- For the second time in three days the Chicago Blackhawks will try to stave off elimination without the services of defenseman Brent Seabrook, who remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

Quenneville said there was some thought to playing Seabrook in Game 5 against Vancouver on Thursday, but the final decision was to not play him. The speculation is that Seabrook is suffering from a concussion, but the Hawks have not said anything further than an upper-body injury.

Canucks insist they've put Game 4 behind them

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks were back on the ice at Rogers Arena on Wednesday afternoon trying to put behind them an embarrassing 7-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 at the United Center.

To a man, the Canucks were looking ahead to Thursday's Game 5 as Vancouver has a chance to close out its best-of-seven series on home ice.

"It was done when we got here today," said coach Alain Vigneault of putting Game 4 behind him.
Ryan Kesler, who was just one of five players to finish with an even rating in Tuesday night's loss, says the team is now looking ahead.

"We're excited to play on home ice, in front of our fans and put out a really good game," he said. "We're excited about this opportunity, we're in a good spot and we got to give them credit – they put their best game on the ice last game and we got to respond now."rs."

Next game pivotal as Hawks climb back

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- If it looks like a playoff series again and feels like it, too, then it has to be a competitive playoff series again.


Not according to the Chicago Blackhawks, who boarded a charter flight back to Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon, a day after staving off what would've been a humiliating sweep by the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in a Western Conference quarterfinal series.

After dropping the first two games in Vancouver and splitting the last two at the United Center, the defending Stanley Cup champions aren't ready to declare this a series again merely because they thrashed the Canucks 7-2 at home in Game 4 on Tuesday.

Seabrook travels with Hawks, possible for Game 5

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brent Seabrook missed all the fun in the Chicago Blackhawks' 7-2 romp against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series and might not be ready for Game 5 on Thursday night at Rogers Arena.

That's the bad news for the Hawks, who won their first game in the series but still trail the top-seeded Canucks by two games. The good news is that Seabrook was with the team when they left O'Hare Airport on Wednesday afternoon bound for Vancouver.

Luongo not rattled by Game 4 performance

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – If anybody knows how to deal with a rough night at the United Center, it's Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

Just two years ago, he was riddled with seven goals by the Chicago Blackhawks in a 7-5 loss to end a conference semifinal series in this building – which included Patrick Kane's first career hat trick.

Afterward, Luongo was in tears as he met with reporters because the loss ended Vancouver's season.

Tuesday night, the Hawks riddled Luongo again, 7-2, in the Madhouse on Madison – but instead of reddened eyes, Luongo showed nothing but resolve as this Western Conference Quarterfinal shifts back to Vancouver with the Canucks leading 3-1.

Bolland makes instant impact for Hawks

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The depression he went through over the past month didn't cost Dave Bolland his sense of humor -- or his sense of timing. Chicago's energetic center returned Tuesday night from a concussion that kept him out for six weeks and nearly scored on his first shift.

"Now I can remember these things," Bolland said with a smirk that only he's allowed to give considering what he's gone through. "In past weeks I probably wouldn't have remembered. I almost had that one and then I threw a hit, and after that I knew I was feeling good."

And playing great.

Bolland intruded into a playoff series that not long ago looked to be a forgone conclusion and wound up with a goal, 3 assists and a plus-4 rating to help Chicago save its season from dying Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory over Vancouver. Bolland had an assist on his second shift and a goal and two more helpers during Chicago's four-goal second period.

Canucks aim to end series in Vancouver

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – They've got some great places to eat in this town, a few sightseeing spots that are fun and plenty of places to shop 'til you drop.

All the same, the Vancouver Canucks probably don't want to come back to the Windy City until next season.

After failing to sweep the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal on Tuesday night at the United Center – getting routed 7-2 in the process –the Canucks are headed home with one goal in mind.

Win the next one and be done with the pesky Blackhawks once and for all – at least for this season.

"We can't let momentum carry over," said Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who led Vancouver with seven hits but finished with a minus-1 rating and picked up a fighting major with 3:40 left to play and the game out of hand. "Game 5 is a new game. It's in Vancouver and (we'll) regroup and get back to the way we've been playing the last three games."

Canucks look to close out defending champs

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The quote written on the dry-erase board inside the Vancouver Canucks' locker room at the United Center on Tuesday morning summed it up for them nicely.

"Today's (quote) was, 'The hardest thing to do to a hockey player is take the stick out of his hands,'" said Tanner Glass, who will help the Canucks try to sweep the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks out of this Western Conference quarterfinal on Tuesday night. "I think that's very meaningful for today. Those guys have a lot of pride over there and they love the game. To beat them tonight (would make them) go into the off-season, and they never like that."

On the flip side, it would also officially catapult the Canucks over the playoff roadblock that Chicago has presented in each of the previous two postseasons.

The Blackhawks have tormented the Canucks in back-to-back Western semifinals by ending Vancouver's Cup hopes in six games. Now it's the Canucks with a chance to scratch back by ruining Chicago's hopes to repeat its championship of a year ago -- and do it with a humiliating sweep, no less. 

Bolland returning for Game 4, Seabrook out

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced Tuesday morning that defenseman Brent Seabrook will not play in Game 4 against Vancouver due to an upper-body injury but Dave Bolland will return to Chicago's lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion on March 9.

Bryan Bickell will also return after missing Game 3 with a wrist injury.

Neither Seabrook nor Bolland skated with the Blackhawks at United Center in the morning. Quenneville said Bolland was just preparing for the game. He said Seabrook is still sore from getting hit by Raffi Torres in the second period of Game 3 on Sunday and labeled him as day to day.

The Blackhawks, of course, face elimination Tuesday with the Canucks up 3-0 in the best-of-7 series.
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Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday
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