for this game

Canucks deal blow to Avs' playoff chances

Mar 29, 2012 - 6:09 AM
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Cory Schneider posted 43 saves for his third shutout of the season and the Vancouver Canucks took a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

This loss put a major crimp in Colorado's postseason hopes as the team has 86 points and sits two points out of the final playoff spot with just three games remaining. Ahead of the club in the standings are Phoenix, with 87 points and five games to play, Los Angeles, which sits in eighth in the Western Conference and is two points ahead with five games left, and San Jose, two points ahead and six games left.

"It is definitely tough if you consider the situation we are in," said Colorado forward Milan Hejduk. "We don't have the situation in our hands anymore. We are kind of at the mercy of the other teams."

Meanwhile, Vancouver has no such worries as the team has already clinched the Northwest Division and, with 103 points, is just two points back of St. Louis for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Chris Higgins scored the only goal of the game off an assist from Samuel Pahlsson for the Canucks, who have won four straight.

"It's gonna be tight games, especially when we get into the playoffs," said Pahlsson. "It's a good thing to know we can win the tight games like this, it's a strength of our team."

Semyon Varlamov took the loss as he gave up the one goal on 22 shots for the Avalanche, who have dropped their past four games.

The only goal of the game came when Vancouver was shorthanded as Matt Hunwick bobbled the puck at the blueline and Pahlsson hit Higgins with a lead pass that saw him bury a wrister with 2:56 to play in the first.

From there the goaltenders took over as Schneider made 30 saves over the final two periods while Varlamov kept his team in the game by stopping all 14 shots he faced in the second and third period.

Colorado went 0-for-5 on the power play while Vancouver finished the game 0- for-3.

Game Notes

Schneider has four shutouts in his career...Vancouver hosts Dallas on Friday...The Avalanches play their final road game of the season on Friday in Calgary...Vancouver won all six games against Colorado this season.