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NHL playoff roundup

Canucks seize the moment

Blackhawks fall into a 2-0 hole

Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier (4) and teammates celebrate his first-period goal. Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier (4) and teammates celebrate his first-period goal. (Gene Puskar/Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 16, 2011

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Daniel Sedin scored his second goal midway through the third period and added an assist to lead the Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks last night at Vancouver, British, Columbia, for a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Jannik Hansen opened the scoring on a nice pass from Sedin, and Alexander Edler scored with 13.1 seconds left in the second period. Roberto Luongo made 22 saves for the Canucks, who travel to Chicago for Game 3 tomorrow with a chance to take a stranglehold on the best-of-seven series.

Ben Smith had two goals, Viktor Stalberg also scored and Corey Crawford made 23 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Smith, who played at Boston College, scored the Blackhawks’ first goal of the series with 5:10 left in the second period to make it 2-1, and added his second with 7:10 remaining in the third to make it 4-3. But Smith also accidentally tipped Edler’s point shot past his own goalie as the second period was winding down.

Stalberg pulled Chicago within a goal 1:56 into the third, and Crawford kept it close with a couple of great saves on Ryan Kesler. But Sedin, the NHL lead with 104 regular-season points, scored on a 3-on-2 rush. He cut into the middle, looked off the defense and snapped a low shot past Crawford’s glove.

Lightning 5, Penguins 1 — Martin St. Louis, overcoming three broken teeth and a fat lip from Game 1, had a goal and assist, Eric Brewer scored and added two assists and Tampa Bay evened its first-round series against host Pittsburgh.

Vincent Lecavalier, Nate Thompson and Mattias Ohlund — into an empty net — also scored. Simon Gagne had three assists and Tampa Bay rediscovered its high-powered offense to blow the game open with a three-goal first period.

Craig Adams scored for the Penguins, who came out flat and will have two days to regroup for Game 3 at Tampa Bay Monday night.

Capitals 2, Rangers 0 — Jason Chimera and Jason Arnott scored in a 1:57 span in the second period, Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves and host Washington beat New York to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

After playing a scoreless and somewhat jittery first period, the Capitals dominated the rest of the way. Chimera scored 2:11 into the second period off a feed from Marcus Johansson, and Arnott added to the lead at the 4:08 mark with a power-play goal from the left circle.

Ducks 5, Predators 3 — Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, Ray Emery made 31 saves in his first playoff start in nearly four years, and host Anaheim evened its first-round playoff series against Nashville in Game 2.

Bobby Ryan scored two goals, and Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne scored power-play goals in the opening minutes as the Ducks reclaimed their offensive swagger after nearly getting shut out in the series opener.

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