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Phoenix Coyotes vs. Vancouver Canucks

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GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (21-34-18-6) at Vancouver Canucks (39-24-10-5).

TIME: Monday, 10 p.m. EST.

The Vancouver Canucks have already clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Now, they'll look to earn home-ice in the first round as they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Canucks beat Dallas 3-2 in overtime on Saturday, clinching their berth in the postseason. They have won two straight since a five-game winless streak (0-3-1-1).

Vancouver is just one point behind Northwest Division-leading Colorado and two behind the fourth-place Stars in the conference standings.

The three division winners earn the top seeds in the playoffs, and the top four teams in the conference earn home-ice in the first round.

Brendan Morrison scored 40 seconds into overtime, just over 10 minutes after Geoff Sanderson scored the game-tying goal. Daniel Sedin added his first goal in 15 games since scoring four against Detroit on Feb. 24.

"It's always important you get a little bit of confidence against a team you may face in the playoffs," coach Marc Crawford said. "We haven't played very well against them this year."

Vancouver has gone 3-3-2-1 since Todd Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely for sucker-punching Colorado's Steve Moore.

"We've had to deal with a lot of adversity here," Morrison said. "I'm not making any excuses, a lot teams go through it, but these last few games are a step in the right direction."

The Coyotes lost 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday despite two goals from captain Shane Doan. Phoenix has lost three straight by a combined score of 11-2.

Daymond Langkow had two assists for the Coyotes, whose only win in their last 19 games was a 3-2 overtime victory over Minnesota last Monday (1-11-4-3).

The Canucks are undefeated in their last eight games against the Coyotes (6-0-2), and have not lost in the series since a 6-1 defeat in Phoenix on March 7, 2002.

The Coyotes have not won in Vancouver since a 3-2 victory on Oct. 21, 2000.

STANDINGS: Coyotes - 66 points, 5th place, 34 PB, Pacific Division. Canucks - 93 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Doan, 27 goals, 41 assists and 68 points; Andrei Nazarov, 125 PIM. Canucks - Markus Naslund, 32 goals, 47 assists and 79 points; Brad May, 135 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 27): Coyotes - Power play: 14.6 percent (50 for 343), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.2 percent (318 for 387), 24th. Canucks - Power play: 14.9 percent (55 for 368), 23rd. Penalty killing: 85.8 percent (297 for 346), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Brian Boucher (9-18-10, 5 SO, 2.70 GAA); Brent Johnson (5-6-2, 1, 2.60). Canucks - Dan Cloutier (29-21-6, 5, 2.35); Alex Auld (2-2-2, 0, 2.06).

SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 2-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 13; Canucks, 4-1. At Phoenix, Naslund had two goals, including one empty-netter, for the Canucks, who scored two goals in the first period and two in the third.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 11-15-11-2 on the road; Canucks - 19-13-7-0 at home.


Associated Press
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