Luongo sharp as Vancouver avoids elimination

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Roberto Luongo bounced back from a horror stretch at the net with a number of key stops to help the Vancouver Canucks stave off elimination with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Luongo, who gave up 14 goals from three straight losses leading into Game Five, stonewalled Chicago through two periods as Vancouver cut the Blackhawks' Western Conference semi-final lead to 3-2.

"He's been around such a long time and played in some big games and a lot of playoff games," Canucks defenseman Shane O'Brien told reporters of his Olympic gold-winning team mate.

"He was ready to go tonight. He was a lot better. I know we were a lot better in front of him, and that's what we said before the game -- we just all have to be a lot better."

After allowing his team to build a 3-0 lead, Luongo's shutout bid was foiled when Jonathan Toews scored his team's lone goal in the third.

Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa led his team with two goals after team mate Christian Ehrhoff opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game. Alexandre Burrows scored into an empty net with 45 seconds left.

After being plagued by power-play opportunities in Game Four, Vancouver was able to slow the game to their liking and avoid being punished by penalties.

Toews scored three times from power-play goals in Chicago's 7-4 Game Four win on Friday, but was denied such leeway as the Canucks played tight to keep their postseason alive.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)