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updated: 4/23/2011 7:02 PM

Hawks say they're seeing a different Canucks' team

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  • Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo sits on the bench after being replaced in Game 5 on Thursday.

    Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo sits on the bench after being replaced in Game 5 on Thursday.
    associated press


As good as the Vancouver Canucks were in the first two games of the series from a physical and defensive standpoint, something about them has changed, particularly in the last two games when the Blackhawks have scored 12 goals.

"You saw a lot in the first couple games they were stepping up looking for the big hit and it seemed like they were getting those," Hawks winger Patrick Kane said. "We made some adjustments and it doesn't seem they're stepping up as much.

"You've always got be aware because they're a physical team. They like to hit and look for the big hit and sometimes that's OK. If they want to do that and run out of position then maybe we'll have some more odd-man rushes."

The Canucks still lead the series 3-2, but the Hawks have all the momentum after routs of 7-2 and 5-0 in the last two games.

The momentum has shifted so much to the Hawks that a Canadian blogger even suggested they were returning home for Game 6 leading the series 2-3.

"There's a lot of pressure on them and really none on us," Kane said. "We're just kind of out there playing and sometimes you play better in those situations. We've gotten better in every game."

The Canucks have to be thinking about the last two seasons when the Hawks eliminated them from the playoffs. Now this is happening.

"I'm sure they're thinking because we feel pretty confident in here," Kane said. "I'm sure us being down 3-0, they didn't expect us to come back in this position."

A third straight win by the Hawks tonight in Game 6 would force a seventh and deciding game on Tuesday night in Vancouver.

"We dug ourselves a hole, and we have to keep winning or we'll be out golfing soon," Troy Brouwer said.

Desperation time:

Even though they still lead the series 3-2, the Canucks are approaching Game 6 as one they are desperate to win after two straight losses to the Hawks.

"Maybe in Game 4, Game 5, we were thinking if we don't win this one, we might win the next one. That has to stop for us," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "We have to focus on Game 6 and that's it."

The Canucks don't want to be the fourth team in NHL history to lose a series after leading 3-0.

"It puts us in the same frame of mind as the other guys," goalie Roberto Luongo said. "Obviously there was maybe a little bit of a comfort level at 3-0, but there's no more room for mistakes now. We want to make sure we're playing as desperate as the other side."

The Canucks know they've been awful in the last two games.

"If we would've put our A game on the ice... but we haven't been close to our B game," captain Henrik Sedin said.

Don't sweat the captain:

Jonathan Toews has no goals, 3 assists and is minus-2 in the first five games of the series.

Going back to the regular season, Toews hasn't scored a goal in seven games and has just 1 in his last 12.

"We're not worried about him at all," Patrick Kane said. "He's playing great and getting chances. I thought last game might have been his best game.

"One thing about Johnny is he plays the same way all the time, whether he's scoring or not. He really competes every shift, he's really good defensively, is awesome on faceoffs and he's in front of the goaltender a lot. He's the last guy we're worried about."