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Luongo, Canucks top Blackhawks for 2-1 series lead

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CHICAGO (AP) -It's a hockey tradition in Chicago. The crowd roars during the National Anthem, reaching ear-splitting decibels and creating a frenetic atmosphere to start the game.

For the Chicago Blackhawks, the boost didn't last long. Instead, they fell behind - as they have in all three games of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Vancouver Canucks. And this time, they couldn't catch up.

Roberto Luongo made the early lead stand Tuesday night and the Canucks forged a 3-1 victory to grab a 2-1 lead in the series.

"You can't do it in this league. We're not going to come back on one of the best goaltenders in the league," said defenseman Brian Campbell, who had Chicago's lone goal on a power play. "We've got to come out and be ready, not take penalties. We've got to learn pretty quick or we're not going to hang around too long."

Game 4 is back at the United Center on Thursday night before the series returns to Vancouver for Game 5 on Saturday night.

After surrendering eight goals in the first two games of the series at Vancouver, Luongo finished with 23 saves Tuesday, including a spectacular stop on Dave Bolland when the Blackhawks had a power play early in the third period.

Campbell's slapper from the high circle on a power play cut the lead to 3-1, and a crowd that had been quiet for most of the night quickly erupted, hoping that another comeback was on its way.

But Luongo didn't let it happen.

The Blackhawks had rallied from 3-0 and 2-0 deficits in Games 1 and 2 and earned a split. Luongo also made a nice stop on Jonathan Toews with about 10 minutes left when the Blackhawks captain tried to stuff the puck in from the side.

"When we did make a few mistakes in the third period, Roberto made the saves he had to make," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Even without versatile defenseman Sami Salo, sidelined by an injury, Vancouver kept the speedy Blackhawks from getting up and down the ice like they did in Game 2 when they pulled out a 6-3 victory.

"That was our game plan, not to feed their transition," Luongo said. "The had a lot of scoring chances the last couple of games because of it. Our defensemen did a good job in front of the net."

Vancouver also got a lift from left wing Taylor Pyatt, who played for the first time since the death of his fiancee in a car crash in early April.

"Without a doubt it was a very emotional moment for us as a group," Vigneault said. "He played a really good game for somebody who has been out for some time. He really helped us."

Pyatt said he was glad to get back on the ice.

"I was a little nervous before the game. I wasn't even sure I was going to play," he said. "I felt OK. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing."

Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks late in the first and Steve Bernier's goal during a power play early in the second put Vancouver up by two. Henrik Sedin's fourth goal of the playoffs made it 3-0 in the second.

"I just think we came out flat," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "They had the jump on us. It's frustrating that way to let them get the first goal. You can't come back every game."

The Blackhawks will try to figure out how to manufacture a quicker start when they regroups for practice Wednesday.

"We weren't crisp with the puck. We didn't get it deep or get it to the net," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I didn't like anything about our game."

At Anaheim, Calif., Teemu Selanne scored in the first period, Scott Niedermayer added a goal in the second, and Jonas Hiller made 18 of his 45 saves in the third for the Ducks, who grabbed a 2-1 lead over Detroit in the Western Conference semifinal series.

After building the first multiple-goal lead of the series, Hiller and the Ducks survived a third-period barrage by the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings.

Detroit nearly tied the game with 1:09 remaining when Marian Hossa dived to knock in a loose puck in front of Hiller, but referee Brad Watson lost sight of the puck and whistled the play dead before the purported goal.

The Red Wings got a goal from Henrik Zetterberg in the second period and had a pair of power plays in the final 9:35, but couldn't tie it.

Game 4 is in Anaheim on Thursday before the series returns to Detroit for Game 5 on Sunday.

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