The Vancouver Canucks defeated the LA Kings 2-1 at home on Monday night to secure two crucial points. The victory puts the Canucks four points clear of the Calgary Flames and presents the possibility of securing home ice advantage in the playoffs as well.
Top Line Brilliance
The Sedin twins both tallied points with Daniel scoring the tying goal late in the third period. Canuck’s Captain Henrik Sedin assisted on the goal, notching his 700th career assist.
Chris Higgins scored the shootout winner and goalie Eddie Lack silenced King’s forward Marion Gaborik in the shootout to get the win. Lack made 36 saves on the night and improves to a record of 17-13-4 on the year.
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Vancouver has relied heavily on their top line again this season. Putting the combined experience of the Sedins and forward Radim Vrbata on one line has certainly been successful. Together these three players have carried this team all season long. These three guys have accumulated an astonishing 202 points on the year and the season isn’t even over yet.
The question now becomes whether or not these players can continue this run. The Sedins are used to being under this kind of pressure and have played together their entire careers. This top line will be firing on all cylinders to get a playoff spot and home ice advantage when they play the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
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Lack or Miller
The other big question for the Vancouver Canucks heading into their last two games of the season is the status of starting goalie Ryan Miller.
Miller has been injured since February 22 and Lack has done considerably well throughout his 20 game span, improving the team record to 10-6-2. Miller has been practicing with the team.
It’s a risky move when a team decides to play a cold goalie over a backup goalie that’s been playing well. However, throwing a starting goalie into a playoff series cold isn’t the best plan either.
This dilemma brings back painful memories for Canucks fans. A similar situation occurred in the past involving starting goalie Roberto Luongo and backup Cory Schneider. Schneider was given the chance, much to the surprise of Luongo, controversy arose, and both goalies ended up getting traded away as a result.
This won’t happen with Miller, but getting Miller fit for at least one of the final two regular season games will give this team a huge boost heading into the playoffs. It will be interesting to see who will get the call to play on Thursday against the Coyotes.
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