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Canucks first to clinch division title, playoff berth

Thursday, 03.17.2011 / 12:38 AM / Countdown to the Playoffs

NHL.com

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Canucks first to clinch division title, playoff berth
The Vancouver Canucks are the first team to lock up a berth in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Canucks clinched the Northwest Division title and no worse than a third seed in the opening round of the Western Conference by beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Wednesday night.

The win gives the Canucks 103 points; second-place Calgary has 81. Both teams have 10 games remaining. It's the Canucks' third consecutive division title and fourth in five years under coach Alain Vigneault.

Third-period goals by Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin capped Vancouver's comeback from an early 2-0 deficit. Sedin added an empty-netter in the final minute to ice the win.

The Canucks are closing in on first place in the Western Conference and their first Presidents' Trophy as regular-season champion. They lead Detroit by 11 points for the top spot in the West, though the Wings have two games in hand. Vancouver is 10 points in front of Philadelphia, the leader in the Eastern Conference, for first place overall; the Flyers have played three fewer games.
Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness