Vancouver Canucks clinch 5th Northwest Division title in a row | NHL
Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist to help the host Vancouver Canucks beat Chicago 3-1 and secure their fifth straight Northwest Division title
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist to help the Vancouver Canucks lock up their fifth straight Northwest Division title with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
Jannik Hansen and Zack Kassian also scored for the Canucks, who won their eighth in a row at home and are guaranteed home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Henrik Sedin added two assists and Cory Schneider made 24 saves for the Canucks.
"It's always nice to beat the best team in the NHL, but our second goal each year after making the playoffs is to clinch the division title and I think it speaks to the success this team has had the past few years," Schneider told The Vancouver Sun.
Was it the team's most complete game of the season?
"Yeah, it's up there, I think," Daniel Sedin told the Sun. "From the first shift, we were focused on getting pucks deep and we were on the forecheck and forechecking the right way, which is a key for our team."
Daniel Carcillo scored for Chicago, which trailed 1-0 after the first period and 3-0 after the second. Cory Crawford made 29 saves as the league-leading Blackhawks made clinching first place overall a bit harder for themselves with a second straight loss.
The Blackhawks are trying to win their first Presidents' Trophy since 1991. Chicago has 73 points with three games remaining, while Pittsburgh has 70 with three games left.
Hansen opened the scoring on a power play at 14:28 when Jason Garrison's slap shot went in off his skate.
Kassian gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead at 11:37 of the second period, burying Daniel Sedin's pass from behind the net.
Daniel Sedin put the Canucks ahead 3-0 in the final minute of the period after taking a long pass off the boards to score on a breakaway.
Vancouver winger Chris Higgins returned after missing six games with a knee injury.
• Viktor Fasth made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the Anaheim Ducks clinched the Pacific Division title with a 3-0 victory over the host Edmonton Oilers.
Ryan Getzlaf, Radek Dvorak and Sami Vatanen scored for the Ducks, who won their first division title since 2007 — the year they went on to win the Stanley Cup.