The race for the Northwest Division title is going down to the wire, and the Vancouver Canucks hope a pair of meetings against two of the worst teams in the Western Conference can help.
The Canucks have an opportunity to gain sole possession of the division lead Thursday night when they host the Los Angeles Kings.
Vancouver (43-27-10), which has already secured a playoff spot, is tied for first in the Northwest with Calgary after beating the Flames 4-1 on Tuesday behind 46 saves from Roberto Luongo.
"We'd rather take two points and play bad than the opposite, but we didn't play great," said defenseman Mattias Ohlund, who had two goals. "They totally outplayed us and Louie stole the game."
The Canucks and Flames have two games left with Vancouver closing out the regular season at conference-worst Colorado on Saturday. Calgary is off until facing Edmonton in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday.
Winning the division would move the Canucks from fifth place to third in the West, giving them home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs.
The Canucks hope Luongo can build on Tuesday's performance, which came after he posted a 4.23 goals-against average in losing three consecutive games.
Luongo is 3-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA and a shutout in the last three games against the Kings (33-36-11), who will miss the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Vancouver's co-leaders with 81 points, have also been productive against Los Angeles, totaling 14 goals and 29 assists in 31 games.
Henrik Sedin, who scored on an assist from his brother Daniel on Tuesday, had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over the Kings at GM Place on March 13. That started a 14-game stretch that has seen the center compile nine goals and 12 assists.
Los Angeles, which ends its season against San Jose on Saturday, is looking to damage the Canucks' division title hopes after winning 2-1 at Edmonton on Tuesday, eliminating the Oilers from playoff contention.
"We talked about finishing out the year strong," defenseman Matt Greene said. "We're just trying to make sure we have some good compete out there and are playing hard.
"We're going for points here, we're not going to lay down for anybody. Just another game for us."
Alexander Frolov, the Kings' leader with 31 goals, has regained his scoring touch after netting a goal 55 seconds into Tuesday's win. The left wing has three goals in the last three games after enduring a season high-tying five-game drought.
Frolov has a goal in each of his last three visits to Vancouver, giving him seven in 11 appearances there.