Final SO

Series (Game 6 of 6)

Vancouver leads 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 3rd
Game 2: Sunday, November 1st
Game 3: Saturday, November 14th
Game 4: Friday, November 20th
Game 5: Tuesday, March 9th
Game 6: Tuesday, April 6th

Avalanche 4

(43-29-7, 93 pts)

Canucks 3

(48-27-5, 101 pts)

Coverage: NBCSN

10:00 PM ET, April 6, 2010

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
COL 2 1 0 14
VAN 1 1 1 03

D. Sedin (Canucks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

P. Stastny (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Salo (Canucks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Avalanche-Canucks Preview


One day has seemingly turned around the fortune of the Colorado Avalanche.

They'll try for a second straight win Tuesday night and can possibly clinch a playoff spot when they visit the Northwest Division champion Vancouver Canucks.

Colorado (42-29-7) entered play Sunday mired in a four-game slide and tied with Calgary for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference.

Sunday's events have swung the race in favor of the Avalanche, who got good news earlier in the day when the Flames lost in Chicago. Colorado opened up a two-point lead with a 5-4 overtime victory over conference-leading San Jose on John-Michael Liles' game-winner.

"Hopefully with Calgary losing and us winning tonight, we can just build on it now," defenseman Kyle Quincey said. "We get better and better, and it feels like a huge weight was lifted off us now."

The Avalanche own the tiebreaker over the Flames and have a game in hand. That means if Colorado beats Vancouver (48-27-4) and Calgary loses in regulation Tuesday to the visiting Sharks, the Avalanche will return to the playoffs after finishing with a conference-low 69 points last season.

"We had to have a win and got it and we got two huge points," Liles said. "The bottom line is we are going to have to win more games to finish the season. Win games and we will be in position for the playoffs."

Not quite everything went well for Colorado on Sunday because newcomer Peter Mueller suffered a concussion off a hit into the boards. Mueller, who had two goals in that game and has a team-best nine since being acquired from Phoenix on March 3, is likely to miss the final week of the regular season.

There isn't nearly as much on the line now for Vancouver, which is likely headed for the No. 3 seed in the West because it's five points behind second-place Chicago with three games to play. The Canucks clinched the division with a 4-3 win over Minnesota on Sunday on Sami Salo's goal in overtime.

"Every year you approach, you always want to be the champ," left wing Alex Burrows said. "And to be the Northwest champion for the second year in a row, it's nice, but our main focus is gonna be in the playoffs and to try to have a long playoff run."

Vancouver got some bad news when Christian Ehrhoff, the Canucks' top-scoring defenseman with 43 points, had to leave in the third period.

"He tweaked his knee and will be re-evaluated," coach Alain Vigneault said. "I'm not really concerned. I don't think it's anything major."

With little else to play for, the Canucks will probably want to see Henrik Sedin finish as the NHL's scoring leader. Sedin, with 106 points, is locked in a tight race with Washington's Alexander Ovechkin.

Vancouver has won four straight over Colorado since losing 3-0 in the first meeting Oct. 3. Sedin has seven points in the last three games and center Ryan Kesler has six points in the five matchups.

The Avalanche, though, could get a break Tuesday since the Canucks are expected to reduce the playing time of most of their regulars.

"Don't think I'm going to look to rest other guys, but I might look to find ways for guys who haven't played as much to maybe get a little more ice time," Vigneault said.