The Vancouver Canucks punched their playoff ticket – along with the Los Angeles Kings’ – with a 2-1 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Cory Schneider earned his 16th win of 2013. He made 33 out of 34 saves on Saturday compared to Jimmy Howard (who was only asked to stop 13 out of 14 pucks). Cory Emmerton scored for the Red Wings while Alex Edler found the net for Vancouver.
The Canucks improved their Northwest Division lead over the Minnesota Wild from four points to six tonight, although the Wild hold a game in hand (Minnesota has four games remaining to Vancouver’s three). Meanwhile, the Red Wings missed a chance to leap over the Columbus Blue Jackets for eighth place in the West. Here’s what the West’s fringe looks like:
7. Minnesota – 51 points with four games left (20 regulation/overtime wins)
8. Columbus – 49 points with three games left (16 ROW)
9. Detroit – 48 points with four games left (18 ROW)
10. Dallas – 47 points with four games left (20 ROW)
11. Phoenix – 46 points with four games left (15 ROW)
More and more, the Stars’ final two contests of 2013 might just determine the West’s finish. Dallas hosts the Blue Jackets on April 25 and then finishes the season against the Red Wings at home.