Colorado Avalanche (33-27-12) at Vancouver Canucks (43-26-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 26, 2015, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks / Colorado Avalanche --- Over/Under:
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
It looked like it might be a crushing loss on home ice for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, but it turned into one of the biggest victories of the season.
Vancouver is battling several clubs for a playoff spot as we come toward the end of the season, and one of those was their opponent on Tuesday. The Winnipeg Jets were at Rogers Arena and they looked to be in control of this one until the Canucks finally got things rolling.
Winnipeg added to their 1-0 lead with an early second period goal, but the Canucks took control from there. Chris Higgins got the Canucks on the board with his 10th goal of the season, and a little over five minutes later Yannick Weber converted with the Canucks on the power play to even the score. Radim Vrbata’s goal in the final minute of the period was his 28th of the season and proved to be the eventual game winner.
Eddie Lack got the start in this one for the Canucks and didn’t have to do too much in the third period to secure the victory. Vancouver surrendered just six shots on goal over the final 20 minutes and Henrik Sedin and Vrbata both added empty net goals to procure the 5-2 win.
The win puts the Canucks two points ahead of Winnipeg for a potential wild card spot, and four points ahead of Calgary and Los Angeles in the Pacific Division standings.
Vancouver has nine games remaining on their schedule with a nice mix of contenders and clubs that are out of the playoff hunt. The Canucks will face St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, Winnipeg, and Los Angeles, but also have games with Colorado on Thursday night, Dallas, Arizona, and Edmonton.
After Saturday night’s match with the Stars the Canucks will embark on a four game road trip that could decide their season.
Colorado has not been eliminated from playoff contention mathematically, but at this point in the season it’s all about playing spoiler for them now. The Avalanche were unable to help out Vancouver on Monday night when they fell in Calgary against the Flames.
Alex Tanguay’s 20th goal of the season answered an earlier marker from Calgary and tied the game at 1-1 in the opening period, but the Flames would score with just 16 seconds remaining in the first to take the lead for good.
The Avalanche were unable to generate much offense on the night and fell behind 3-1 before Gabriel Landeskog’s 21st goal of the season got them back to within a goal midway through the third.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced in the 3-2 loss.
Colorado has a chance to really change the outcome of the playoff race depending on how all their games against those in contention go the rest of the way. The Avalanche have enough talent to beat anyone on their schedule, and matching up against a Jekyll and Hyde type of club in Vancouver should make for an interesting match up Thursday night.