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Luongo keeping his head up

Canucks goalie aims for rebound

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
Globe Staff / June 9, 2011

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After Roberto Luongo surrendered eight goals to the Bruins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday, the Canucks goalie vowed to brush off his disappointment and rebound for Game 4 last night.

But he didn’t. And neither did his teammates.

Luongo gave up four goals through 43 minutes, 39 seconds before leaving as Vancouver fell, 4-0. What started out as a 2-0 lead for the Canucks in this best-of-seven series is now 2-2.

Luongo has lost back-to-back contests for the first time since losing Games 4, 5, and 6 to the Blackhawks in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Bruins got the lead early, on Rich Peverley’s goal at 11:59 of the first. They added a pair in the second (Michael Ryder at 11:11 and Brad Marchand at 13:29) and closed it out in the third on Peverley’s second at 3:39. All were scored at even strength.

Luongo wasn’t awful, given that his defense struggled and pucks were being deflected, but his teammates didn’t respond after Monday’s blowout.

“It was a tough one,’’ said Luongo, who wound up with 16 saves before being spelled by former Boston College star and Marblehead native Cory Schneider (nine saves). “A few of the goals went off something and in, and obviously we’re not getting the breaks.

“It’s just a matter of staying focused. Obviously, we’ve got home-ice advantage for a reason. We have to regroup here and make sure come Game 5 at home, we come out and play the type of game we want to be playing.’’

The goal that was particularly devastating was Ryder’s, which gave Boston a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Sami Salo tried to block the shot and Luongo had trouble judging its trajectory.

“It was going high glove, and it dropped about 3 feet, so I don’t know what else I can say about that,’’ said Luongo. “I was out, I was challenging, I was ready and it just dropped.

“It’s probably going to be viewed as a bad goal but I mean, I don’t know what else to do on that play.’’

Luongo said the Canucks can draw comparisons to their series against the defending champion Blackhawks, in which they took a commanding 3-0 lead only to drop three straight before rallying to win Game 7.

“Right now, we’re two out of three with home-ice advantage,’’ he said. “Obviously, we would’ve liked to win one game here, but we worked hard all year to get home-ice advantage and this is where it’s going to serve its purpose.

“We want to make sure we get playing the way we did in the first two home games and establish a good tempo and take it to them.’’

The Canucks played a decent first period, outshooting the Bruins, 12-6, but they had nothing to show for it because Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was again stellar, earning his fourth career playoff shutout.

“We haven’t had bad starts,’’ said Luongo. “Both games they got a couple of lucky breaks off the hop and it seems like we couldn’t recover. That was pretty much the story of both games.’’

In Game 5, they are hoping to write a script that resembles the ones from Games 1 and 2.

“I would say they were probably the hungrier team the last two games,’’ Luongo said. “Usually in this game you make your own breaks, and obviously we haven’t had many the last two games, and I’m sure after the first two games, they were complaining they weren’t getting any breaks.

“It’s playoff hockey. Things are going to happen, and I think the main thing is the way you respond.

“It’s not time for us to put our head down. It’s time for us to make sure we’re doing the things that we’re doing to make us successful.’’

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at marrapese@globe.com.

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