for this game

Bruised and battered Blackhawks fall to Canucks, Luongo

Oct 26, 2006 - 3:15 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Perhaps Chicago should consider changing its nickname to the Black-and-Bluehawks.

Playing without their entire first line and their starting goaltender, the Blackhawks dropped their third straight game with an uninspiring 5-0 defeat to the Vancouver Canucks.

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves to record his 28th career shutout and first since coming over in an offseason trade with Florida. He turned aside 18 shots alone in the second period, but his job was made easier by the fact that he was facing a severely depleted squad.

"This was an important game for us," Luongo said. "It was nice to finish the road trip at .500 and get out of here with two points. ... It was nice to get the shutout, but it is still better to get the two points tonight."

"We caught Chicago at a good time," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "They are obviously a little shorthanded."

Chicago took the ice without its first line of Tuomo Ruutu, who sprained his knee in the preseason; Martin Havlat, who suffered a sprained ankle Friday; and Michal Handzus, who tore his ACL in Saturday's 4-3 defeat to St. Louis.

"All I can do is coach the players I have," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "Our coaches didn't expect this result tonight, so all we can do is learn from it and move forward."

The Blackhawks also were playing without netminder Nikolai Khabibulin, who broke a finger in warmups prior to Saturday's loss. Brian Boucher took his place Wednesday and was torched by the Sedin twins, who combined for two goals and four assists.

"It seemed like we were in our end the entire first period," Boucher said. "All we did was kill penalties."

"The Hawks are a hard-working team, they were just missing too many of their top players," Henrik Sedin said. "It would be hard for any NHL team to overcome that. So we knew if we played our game, we had a good chance to win."

Entering with no goals and 11 assists, Henrik Sedin scored twice and added an assist. "Nice to get some goals finally," he said. "I have been shooting, but it hasn't been going in. At least I have been able to find guys that have been putting the puck in the net."

Daniel Sedin set up three tallies and Matt Cooke, Brendan Morrison and Taylor Pyatt also scored for Vancouver, which has won three of its last four games overall and 10 of its last 11 meetings with Chicago.

Boucher made 26 saves for the Blackhawks, who went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

"Our defense is not as good as we played earlier in the year and our goaltending is average," Yawney said. "And that is not a good combination against a team like that."






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