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Schneider replaces Luongo for Game 6

by Dan Rosen
CHICAGO -- Despite being adamant since the end of Game 5 that Roberto Luongo was his starting goalie, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault had a change of heart somewhere between late Thursday night and Sunday because Cory Schneider will get the start for Vancouver in Game 6 against Chicago at United Center.

Luongo was replaced by Schneider in each of the last two games and has given up 10 goals on 40 shots in his last 65-plus minutes. The Blackhawks forced the need for a Game 6 by winning the last two games by a combined 12-2.

Luongo, a Vezina Trophy finalist this season, had a 32-save shutout in Game 1, but now has a 3.67 goals-against average and .885 save percentage in the series. But it should also be noted that he did appear to injure himself in Game 4 when he reached back awkwardly to stop a shot from Bryan Bickell.

He has given up four or more goals in seven of 17 career playoff games against the Blackhawks.

Schneider made six saves in 16 minutes of relief in Game 4 and 13 saves in 39 minutes of relief in Game 5. He allowed a goal in each game and has a 2.20 GAA and .905 save percentage in the series.

Schneider, a 25-year-old from Massachusetts, chipped in and won the Jennings Trophy in the regular season with Luongo. He was 16-4-2 with a .929 save percentage, 2.23 GAA and one shutout.

Vigneault quickly answered in the affirmative when he was asked after Game 5 if Luongo would start Game 6. Sunday morning from the Canucks' team hotel he said, "Roberto is our goalie. It's that simple."

Not Sunday night.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl
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