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Canucks frustrated at Ducks for running Luongo in first two games of series

The Canadian Press
By:
The Hockey News
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Canucks frustrated at Ducks for running Luongo in first two games of series

The Canadian Press
By:

Canuck general manager Dave Nonis is taking up the issue with the NHL prior to Sunday night's Game 3 (8 p.m. ET).

"We've got some issues with the officiating that I'm not sharing with you," Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Saturday. "The professional thing is to deal directly with the NHL. "Obviously we had some issues with last night's game. Dave is bringing it up with them."

Luongo was flattened several times during the Canucks 2-1, double-overtime win Friday night that evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1. Anaheim's Dustin Penner, Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Shannon all played bumper cars with the Canuck goaltender.

Luongo was slow getting up after a couple of the collisions and exchanged words with the officials. He has no doubt some of the hits could have been avoided.

"That's a given," said Luongo, who also complained about being run over during Vancouver's first-round series against Dallas. "Most of the time the refs say our guy pushed him.

"That's part of the game plan. When there's a lot of traffic and there's people getting bumped, sometimes guys take a bit more liberties. It's the same for every goalie in the league."

Jeff Cowan, the gritty Canuck forward who scored the winning goal in Game 2, said sometimes it looks like a target is painted on Luongo.

"He's our guy," said Cowan. "We never want to see him get run. That's probably part of their game plan.

"The best way is to go back at them. We have to try . . . and crash their net a little more."

Some goaltenders wield their sticks like swords to protect themselves but Luongo said that's not his style.

"I have to stay focused on my job," he said. "For me, that would be a symbol they are getting to me.

"Stuff like that is part of the game. You have to deal with it and move on."

Defenceman Mattias Ohlund said Luongo can look after himself.

"He's a big boy," Ohlund said with a grin. "He's been around long enough to know they are going to try and get him off his game.

"We are going to have do what we can do keep their forwards away form him. With today's rules, it's tough at times not to take penalties."

The Canucks returned home with their confidence restored by the split. Vancouver was badly outplayed in a 5-1 loss in Game 1 and there were already predictions of a short series.

"There is a bit of a psychological situation," said Trevor Linden, who assisted on Cowan's goal. "Everyone was not giving us much of a chance after Game 1.

"To get that (win) is not only important to come back 1-1, but also mentally it gives us that bit of confidence and reassurance that we can get the job done."

Being doubted is nothing new for the Canucks.

"The same people who didn't give us much of a chance in this series are the same people who said we wouldn't make the playoffs," said Linden. "We're not unaccustom to that."

While the Canucks played better Friday night there still is plenty of room for improvement.

Vancouver's power play was 0-5 and is a terrible 3-for-50 in the playoffs. Naslund's goal was just his second in nine games. Twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin have yet to get on the scoresheet against the Ducks.

The Ducks practised in Anaheim before flying to Vancouver. Forward Ryan Getzlaf said Anaheim can't focus on the narrow loss.

"It's playoff time," said Getzlaf. "You have to put last night's game out of your head and get focused on going into Vancouver and trying to get home ice (advantage) back."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said his team can play better.

"We can execute at a higher level," he said. "We turned the puck over way too many times.

"I think if we continue to move the puck effectively as we did last night, we will be rewarded more for our effort."

The Canuck injuries continue to mount.

"I'm not sure what our defence is going to look like tomorrow," Vigneault admitted.

Defenceman Willie Mitchell and Rory Fitzpatrick didn't skate Saturday.

Mitchell missed the final 12 minutes of the first period Friday after taking a hip check from Francois Beauchemin. Mitchell did return and finished the game.

Vigneault said he expected Mitchell to play Sunday but Fitzpatrick had the flu.

The Canucks are already without defenceman Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo, who are out with injuries.

Bieksa skated by himself Saturday but moved like he had eggs in his pockets.

Vigneault doubted Bieksa would be ready, but said Salo would be a game-time decision. The Canucks have called up Yannick Tremblay from the AHL Manitoba Moose.

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Canucks frustrated at Ducks for running Luongo in first two games of series