Mon, Apr 02, 2012 - Page 18 News List

NHL: Vancouver clinch top spot in the West

PLAYOFFS IN SIGHT:The loss to the Canucks eliminated the Calgary Flames from playoff contention, while the winners tied the New York Rangers with 107 points each


Andrew Ebbett of the Vancouver Canucks, front, controls the puck in the second period of their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Andrew Ebbett scored in overtime on Saturday to lift Vancouver past Calgary 3-2, giving the Canucks top spot in the Western Conference.

With 107 points, the Canucks also tied the New York Rangers for most points in the NHL.

Max Lapierre and Marc-Andre Gragnani also scored for Vancouver, who earned their sixth straight win — all without injured scoring star Daniel Sedin (concussion) — and moved past St Louis in the West.

Olli Jokinen and Mike Cammalleri scored for the Flames, who were eliminated from playoff contention.


In Philadelphia, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek scored shootout goals to lift Ottawa past Philadelphia and shore up their chances of taking an NHL playoff spot.

The Senators blew a 3-0 lead before Michalek and Spezza bailed them out in the shootout.

Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Neil scored first-period goals for the Senators only for Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier and Braydon Coburn to counter for the Flyers in the second.

The win meant Ottawa finished the day in outright seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia crept within three points of Pittsburgh in the fight for fourth place and home-ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. Those two teams were to play yesterday.


In San Jose, California, Joe Pavelski scored twice as San Jose beat Dallas to move back into playoff position.

Antti Niemi earned his sixth shutout of the season, while Jason Demers also scored for the Sharks, who closed within one point of Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles and Phoenix with three games remaining.

The Stars have gone from leading the Pacific on Friday afternoon to being out of the playoff picture one night later. Dallas trail eighth-placed San Jose by one point for the final post-season spot.

The teams will meet again in Dallas tomorrow.


In Uniondale, New York, playoff-bound Boston ended New York’s post-season chances.

Brad Marchand snapped a third-period tie with his team-leading 27th goal for the Bruins.

Tyler Seguin then pushed Boston’s lead to 4-2 with 9 minutes, 23 seconds remaining and matched Marchand with his 27th goal. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci scored seconds apart later in the third to pad the margin.

Krejci scored twice and Chris Kelly also netted for Boston.

Kyle Okposo scored for the fifth straight game, while P.A. Parenteau had two goals for the Islanders.


In Glendale, California, Mike Smith had 44 saves in his second straight shutout and seventh of the season as Phoenix defeated Anaheim.

Ray Whitney passed 1,000 career points with a goal and assist for the Coyotes, becoming the 79th player to reach that mark.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Antoine Vermette and Radim Vrbata also scored for Phoenix, who are tied with Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles with three games to play.

In other NHL play, it was:

‧ Blue Jackets 5, Blues 2

‧ Wild 4, Kings 3, SO

‧ Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3

‧ Capitals 3, Canadiens 2, SO

‧ Lightning 3, Jets 2, OT

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