NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Vancouver
(Tuesday, April 6th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Vancouver 3 (SO)
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Matt Duchene scored in the third round of the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Duchene was the last skater as all previous five shooters were stopped. He came in on net and faked to the forehand before stuffing the puck between Roberto Luongo for the win.
Just one season removed from the worst record in the Western Conference, the Avs find themselves back in the playoffs as they now have 93 points and sit in the eighth spot, three behind the Red Wings as both teams have three games to play.
"Our goal all season was to make the playoffs and silence all the critics who said we were going to be 14th or 15th in the West," said Duchene. "To now clinch a playoff spot it feels amazing."
Meanwhile, Vancouver has already clinched the Northwest Division and will begin the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist while Darcy Tucker and T.J. Galiardi each added a goal for the Avalanche, who have won their past two. Craig Anderson made 29 stops in the win.
Daniel Sedin had two goals and Mason Raymond scored the other for the Canucks, who had won three of four coming in. Luongo stopped 28 shots.
"It was a hard-fought game cause those guys were desparate on the other side," said Luongo. "I thought we played good and it was a good battle on both sides but we weren't able to get that extra point."
Colorado grabbed the 1-0 lead when an errant clearing attempt was picked up by Tucker and he fired a shot home from the right circle 6:17 in.
Vancouver tied the game with 2:01 to play in the frame on Sedin's 25th goal of the season, but the Avs grabbed the lead back just 57 seconds later on Galiardi's backhander that found its way into the net.
At the 7:11 mark of the second, Vancouver tied the game on a 2-on-1 break as Raymond's wrister on the fly from the left circle beat Anderson.
The Avalanche, though, got a 2-on-1 break of their own seven minutes later as Chris Stewart saucered a pass from the left circle over the stick of a defender and Stastny redirected it home.
Skating on the power play late in the third, the Canucks tied the game as Henrik Sedin skated down the middle and backhanded the puck over to the left side for his brother, who snapped a wrister into the right corner with 4:06 left in regulation.
Vancouver plays at San Jose on Thursday...Colorado plays in Edmonton on Wednesday...Vancouver took four of six from the Avalanche this season...Vancouver scored on its only power play of the game while Colorado went 0-for-2.
04/07 01:47:45 ET