(Sports Network) - The top-seeded Vancouver Canucks will try to take a 2-0 lead over Chicago when the clubs meet tonight at Rogers Arena for Game 2 of the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals.
Vancouver, which won the Presidents' Trophy as the club with the best record during the regular season, is trying to avoid being eliminated from the postseason by the Blackhawks for a third straight spring.
A victory in Game 1 would seem like a step in the right direction for the Canucks, but Alain Vigneault's club also won the series opener against Chicago in each of the last two postseasons, only to watch the Blackhawks win both Western Conference semifinal matchups in six games.
Although the Blackhawks hit several posts in Wednesday's opener, Chicago failed to score a goal as Roberto Luongo stopped 32 shots for the second shutout of his playoff career. Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen both scored for the Canucks in the 2-0 home victory.
But, Luongo realized the recent playoff history between the clubs and put the Game 1 victory into perspective.
"This game doesn't mean anything if we don't win the series," said Luongo. "We won Game 1 and that is nice, but we have to come out with a good effort and we still have a lot of work left to do."
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots in what was the rookie's NHL playoff debut. Antti Niemi, who is now San Jose's No. 1 goaltender, helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup title as a rookie last spring.
"Unacceptable," Chicago captain and last year's Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Toews said of his team's effort in Game 1. "We played that like a regular- season game, but it's not a regular-season game. It's a playoff game, and some of us didn't pay the price. We were hearing footsteps. We have to respond better."
The Blackhawks, who will host Game 3 on Sunday, were never shut out during last year's championship run.
Chicago and Vancouver have met two other times in the postseason in addition to their 2009 and 2010 semifinal bouts, and the Blackhawks own a 3-1 edge all- time against the Canucks in the playoffs.
Vancouver, meanwhile, held a slight 2-1-1 advantage in the regular-season series this year.
The Canucks had a 27-9-5 record as the host this season, while Chicago struggled to a 20-12-9 mark as the guest.