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updated: 4/17/2011 3:28 PM

With pressure on, Hawks vow to respond

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  • Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews, left, and Marian Hossa leave the bench after losing to the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series. Toews said the top players "need to play better" when they meet the Canucks tonight at the United Center.

      Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews, left, and Marian Hossa leave the bench after losing to the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series. Toews said the top players "need to play better" when they meet the Canucks tonight at the United Center.
    Associated Press

 
 

Big John Scott is in the lineup tonight for a crucial Game 3 for the Blackhawks.

But it's the Hawks' big guns who will be in the spotlight against Vancouver.

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"When things are going well your star players are going to get a lot of credit, but when things aren't going as well they're going to take the heat," captain Jonathan Toews said Sunday. "It's absolutely fair. We need to be better."

And quickly. They trail the Canucks 2-0 in the series.

The Hawks are hoping their experience in must-win games pays off tonight.

"We have some tight game experience," Troy Brouwer said. "A lot of the games toward the end of the regular season -- we were looking at the standings every night, needing to win to get in the playoffs."

"Over the past two or three seasons we've been in a lot of different situations -- whether it was playoffs or the regular season -- and we responded well," Patrick Sharp said. "Tonight's another opportunity to do that."

It may be their last.

"There's no way we can lose this game tonight and expect to come back on this team," Brouwer said.

And the final word goes to the captain.

"It's up there," Toews said of the Hawks' desperation level heading into Game 3. "It has to be."

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