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Hawks Could Push Envelope In Bothering Luongo

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
One of the Blackhawks' goals in Game 2 will be to get more traffic in front of Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

CHICAGO -- Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has looked relaxed and comfortable in his crease during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Blackhawks forward Adam Burish gave a pretty honest answer Monday morning when asked what his team could do to throw Luongo off his game.

"Maybe it's running him sometimes," said Burish. "Maybe it's spraying snow in his face."

Of course, intentionally crashing into a goaltender is illegal, but the Blackhawks need to try something different in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Canucks on Monday (9 p.m., VERSUS, CBC, RIS) after the 5-1 beating they received in Game 1.

Perhaps some disruptive tactics will be what it takes to beat Luongo.

"I think he was kind of in a zone," Burish said of Luongo's 36-save performance in Game 1. "He made a couple early saves and he got in that groove. But that's the kind of guy he is. He gets in these grooves and he gets feeling good and he's awfully tough to beat. Sometimes you have to find a way to get to him. You have to find a way to rattle him ... You got to try to find a way to get him out of that rhythm."

Luongo didn't seem to care if Burish or any other Blackhawk wants to invade his crease.

"I'm not going to get into any responses with the other team," Luongo said. "That's part of the game. They do what they've got to do. Stuff like that isn't going to get me off my game. I just focus what I have to do out there."

Dustin Byfuglien, who could be moved back to defense for Game 2, made life miserable for Luongo during last year's playoff series and in their final regular-season meeting of 2009, when Byfuglien took down Luongo and set off a melee at United Center.

There weren't any goaltender interference penalties called on the Blackhawks in Game 1, but Byfuglien and Tomas Kopecky were parked in front of Luongo at times. With referees paying special attention to the front of the net, there's no margin for error when it comes to bumping a goaltender.

"I would say they're watching that, for sure," said Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane of the referees. "How could they not, especially with what went on last year? They know the rivalry's going to be there between Buff and Lou, so it's one of those things I'm sure they're watching. I thought Buff did a really good job last game of just staying in front of him and staying out of the crease. Obviously you don't want to take a penalty when you're on the power play in that situation."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DLozoNHL

Author: Dave Lozo | Staff Writer

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