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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

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday