Big forward Dustin Byfuglien scored twice on the power play and collected an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semi-final.
Neither of Byfuglien's goals were pretty. Both came off rebounds during scrambles in front of Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Byfuglien was given an assist on Patrick Kane's goal on a play where Luongo was driven into his own net by Byfuglien. The Canucks argued for goaltender interference but the goal stood.
Marian Hossa, who scored off the rebound of a Patrick Sharp shot early in the third period, and Kris Versteeg also notched Chicago goals.
Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen scored for the Canucks.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday in Vancouver. The series returns to Chicago for Game 5 Sunday.
The Canucks controlled much of the game but found themselves playing catchup after the Blackhawks climbed into a 2-0, first-period lead.
Byfuglien, who parks himself in front of the net like a battleship, gave Chicago a 3-1 lead midway through the second after Burrows was sent off for a foolish unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The big forward slipped the rebound of a Jonathan Toews shot past Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo. Byfuglien celebrated by taunting the Vancouver crowd behind the net.
Burrows made amends for his earlier brain cramp by making the score 3-2 with just 54 seconds left in the period. He fired a wrist shot that seemed to handcuff Chicago's Antti Niemi. That brought the towel-waving, sellout crowd of 18,810 to their feet.
It was Burrows' second goal of the playoffs after leading the Canucks with 35 during the regular season.
Hansen scored Vancouver's first goal at 9:07 of the second. He was in the right place, at the right time when Alex Edler's shot hit Niemi's blocker, bounced off Hansen, and into the net.
Niemi made some big saves early. He dragged a pad on a Hansen shot on a breakaway, then got a blocker on a Burrows blast.
Both of Chicago's first-period goals came with plenty of traffic circling around Luongo.
Versteeg opened the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs at 5:19. Hossa banked a shot of Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa's skate that creeped through Luongo's pads. Versteeg managed to get his stick on the puck and slide it past the goal line.
Byfuglien earned his first point of the playoffs just six seconds after Ryan Kesler was sent off for tripping. Duncan Keith unloaded a shot from just inside the blueline that rebounded off Luongo's blocker. Byfuglien, anchored in front of the net, blackhanded a rebound past Luongo.
A Canuck you wouldn't expect got involved in an altercation with Chicago's Dave Bolland near the end of the first period.
Daniel Sedin, more noted as a scorer than scrapper, took exception when Bolland got his stick up in between Sedin's legs before a faceoff. A furious Sedin began grappling with Bolland. Both players received minors.
Centre Ryan Johnson returned to the Canucks lineup after missing four weeks with a broken foot. Johnson is one of the Canucks best shot blockers and penalty killers.
Notes: The Canucks are 9-9 in playoff series where they won the first game. ...Mikael Samuelsson's seven goals in the first round tied Pavel Bure's franchise record for goals in a series set in the 1995 Western Conference quarter-final against St. Louis. ...Michael Grabner, Tanner Glass, Darcy Hordichuk and Aaron Rome were among the Canuck scratches. ...Former Canuck Mattias Ohlund, now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was in attendance.
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