Canucks can move into playoff spot with win over lowly Avs

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The Vancouver Canucks have a prime opportunity to pick up four points and head into the All-Star break in a playoff spot.

Tonight, the Canucks are in Denver to take on the NHL’s worst team. Tomorrow, they’re in Glendale to play the NHL’s second-worst team.

Talk about an easy back-to-back, right?

Not so fast.

The Avalanche and Coyotes may see a prime opportunity themselves. Vancouver has just five wins away from home this season. In fact, the Canucks’ 5-14-3 road record is the worst in the league. Only a 17-6-3 mark at Rogers Arena has kept them in the race.

The last time the Canucks won a road game was Dec. 31 in Edmonton. Sunday in Chicago, they had a chance to at least get to overtime, but after battling back from a 2-0 deficit, a late letdown cost them and they fell, 4-2, in regulation.

“It’s really a kick in the teeth to come all the way back and lose on a fairly fluky kind of play,” goalie Ryan Miller told reporters. “We got ourselves back in the game in the second and I think we carried it into the third. Just really disappointed to not get a point at least out of here, especially with that effort.”

With a win tonight, the Canucks would leapfrog idle Los Angeles and Calgary into the second wild-card spot. All three teams play road games tomorrow before the break. The Kings are in Carolina, the Flames are in Ottawa, and, as mentioned, the Canucks are in Arizona.