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Canucks blank Hawks to move level

ROBERTO Luongo had 26 saves to help the Vancouver Canucks shut out Chicago 4-0 and move level on points with the Blackhawks in the Western Conference on Sunday.

Both Vancouver (41-25-9) and Chicago (40-23-11) have 91 points, and trail third-place Calgary (43-26-6) by a point in the West.

"We approached this one as our biggest game of the season," Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa told reporters.

"We really wanted to win this game for a lot of reasons and one was if we play them in the first round of the playoffs we wanted to set the tone. I think we did that tonight."

In other National Hockey League games, it was: Blues 5, Blue Jackets 2; Predators 4, Red Wings 3; Senators 3, Lightning 0; Bruins 4, Flyers 3; Ducks 4, Avalanche 1; and Wild 3, Oilers 2.

In Chicago, Daniel Sedin scored two goals and had an assist for the Canucks, while his twin brother Henrik added three assists.

Sedin collected his first goal 3:22 in the first off assists by his brother and Alex Burrows.

He made it a 3-0 game 3:53 into the third with the same duo assisting.

Burrows scored off assists by both Sedins in the second period with Ryan Kesler wrapping up the scoring just before the seven-minute mark of the third.

The shutout was Luongo's seventh of the season.

"That's what we came here to do, get the two points and let them know it is not going to be an easy series for them," Luongo said. "If this puts something in their mind, that's great."

Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves for Chicago, who lost for the first time in four games.

In Columbus, Ohio, Patrik Berglund had a goal and two assists as St. Louis moved a step closer to a playoff spot with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

T.J. Oshie and David Perron each had a goal and an assist, Brad Boyes and David Backes also scored, and Chris Mason gave up two shaky goals but stopped the other 26 shots he faced.

The Blues, 4-3 winners in a shootout over the Blue Jackets on Saturday night in St. Louis, have won five in a row.

Rick Nash had a goal and an assist, and Fedor Tyutin added a goal for Columbus, which had taken points in its last five games and nine of the 10.

In Detroit, Ryan Suter broke a tie on a power play with 4:36 left, and Pekka Rinne made 33 saves to help Nashville win its third straight game - a 4-3 win over the Red Wings.

Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward, Jerred Smithson also scored for the Predators, seventh in the Western Conference playoff race.

Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen scored for Detroit, which lost its second straight and third in four games. Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom each had two assists, and Chris Osgood stopped 22 shots.


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