Canucks to open playoffs at home after Flames fall to Jets

 

 
 
 
 
Ronalds Kenins #41 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
 

Ronalds Kenins #41 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

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VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks have sewn up home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs without getting off the couch.

The Calgary Flames, their first-round opponent, needed a win against the Winnipeg Jets in a matinee today to even challenge the Canucks for second place in the Pacific Division. That would have forced the Canucks to either beat the Edmonton Oilers in their finale tonight, or at least get the game to overtime.

However, the Flames lost 5-1 to the Jets and finished their regular season with 97 points, making it impossible for Calgary to catch Vancouver, which has 99. So the Canucks will start their best-of-seven opening-round series at Rogers Arena, most likely on Wednesday as there are concerts in the building Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Had Calgary and Vancouver both finished with 99 points, the Flames would have been awarded second place based on the tie-breaker of more regular/overtime wins (ROWs) than the Canucks, 42-41.

The Flames didn’t seem terribly concerned about getting a result in Winnipeg as head coach Bob Hartley rested his entire first line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler as well as top-three defencemen Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell and T.J. Brodie. Hartley also rested No. 1 goalie Jonas Hiller and used minor-leaguer Joni Ortio against the Jets.

The Jets, who were locked into the Western Conference’s second wild-card playoff spot, rested a number of top players, too, including Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and No. 1 goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Winnipeg, one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season, finished with a record of 43-23-13, good for 99 points.

epap@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
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Ronalds Kenins #41 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
 

Ronalds Kenins #41 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 14, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Photograph by: Derek Leung, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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