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Chicago's Cup defense officially on

Tomas Fleischmann, center, is cheered after scoring in Chicago’s win vs. Vancouver.

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Tomas Fleischmann, center, is cheered after scoring in Chicago’s win vs. Vancouver.

VANCOUVER — Andrew Ladd scored the winning goal with just more than two minutes left i

Blackhawks 1 0 2 3
at Canucks 0 1 1 2
n the third to help the Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Canucks on Sunday that clinched the defending Stanley Cup champions' eighth straight playoff appearance.

Vancouver is winless in its past eight games and has scored seven goals in that span. It is tied with the Oilers for the fewest points in the Western Conference (67) and is two points out of last place in the league.

On the winning goal, Jonathan Toews stickhandled into the Canucks' zone before dropping a pass in the high slot to Ladd, who hammered home a one-timer for his 23rd goal of the season and sixth in 13 games with Chicago after being acquired near the trade deadline from the Jets.

Ladd was coming off a three-point night against Calgary on Saturday in which he scored two goals and added an assist.

Alex Burrows and Sven Baertschi had the goals for the Canucks.

Chicago got back-to-back wins for the first time since March 2. Goalie Scott Darling made 26 saves for his ninth victory of the season.

Game highlights: Sidney Crosby scored on a deflection at 4:30 of overtime, and the surging Penguins beat the host Rangers 3-2 in a potential first-round playoff preview. Matt Cullen and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who have won eight of nine.

Around the league: The Avalanche's dwindling playoff hopes have taken a big hit. Colorado's top two scorers, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, are hurt and out for the next two games, against the red-hot Predators and Blues, both on the road.

Blackhawks 1 0 2 3
at Canucks 0 1 1 2

First1, Chicago, Fleischmann 14 (van Riemsdyk, Ehrhoff), 17:42. PenaltiesNone.

Second2, Vancouver, Burrows 9 (Vey, Etem), 11:29. PenaltiesH.Sedin, Van (hooking), :21.

Third3, Chicago, Teravainen 13 (van Riemsdyk, Kane), 5:37. 4, Vancouver, Baertschi 15 (Horvat, Etem), 14:18. 5, Chicago, Ladd 23 (Toews, Hjalmarsson), 17:33. PenaltiesLadd, Chi (roughing), 7:05; Toews, Chi, double minor (high-sticking), 7:05; Bartkowski, Van (roughing), 7:05. Shots on GoalChicago 13-9-10—32. Vancouver 7-6-15—28. PPsChicago 0 of 1; Vancouver 0 of 2. GoaliesChicago, Darling 9-7-3 (28 shots-26 saves). Vancouver, Miller 15-23-9 (32-29).

Penguins 1 1 0 1 3
at Rangers 1 1 0 0 2

First1, N.Y. Rangers, E.Staal 12 (Hayes, Fast), 4:19. 2, Pittsburgh, Cullen 13 (Pouliot, Daley), 15:49. PenaltiesLetang, Pit (slashing), 11:19.

Second3, N.Y. Rangers, E.Staal 13 (Fast, Hayes), 2:07. 4, Pittsburgh, Kessel 23 (Hagelin), 8:36. PenaltiesNone.

ThirdNone. PenaltiesBonino, Pit (tripping), 1:52; Brassard, NYR (high-sticking), 8:54; Brassard, NYR (high-sticking), 19:58.

OT5, Pittsburgh, Crosby 32 (Letang, Kessel), 4:30. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 11-10-9-2—32. N.Y. Rangers 13-9-5-0—27. PPsPittsburgh 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 2. GoaliesPittsburgh, Fleury 34-17-6 (27 shots-25 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 33-19-7 (32-29).

at Hurricanes 2 1 0 3
Devils 0 2 0 2

First1, Carolina, Hainsey 5 (Staal, Slavin), 9:10. 2, Carolina, Rask 19 (Lindholm, Faulk), 9:46 (pp). PenaltiesMozik, NJ (interference), 2:05; Farnham, NJ, major (fighting), 8:33; Malone, Car, served by Skinner, minor-major (cross-checking, fighting), 8:33; Zajac, NJ (holding), 8:51; Blandisi, NJ (tripping), 9:25; Smith-Pelly, NJ (unsportsmanlike conduct, tripping), 13:22.

Second3, Carolina, Rask 20 (Skinner), 2:01. 4, New Jersey, Farnham 8, 6:27. 5, New Jersey, Zajac 13 (Pietila, Palmieri), 7:17. PenaltiesMcClement, Car (hooking), 4:00.

ThirdNone. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalNew Jersey 3-13-9—25. Carolina 14-5-4—23. PPsNew Jersey 0 of 2; Carolina 1 of 5. GoaliesNew Jersey, Wedgewood 2-1-1 (23 shots-20 saves). Carolina, Ward 21-16-9 (25-23).

Playoff glance

The top three teams in each division get playoff berths. The two teams in each conference with the next-highest point totals get wild-card berths regardless of their division. Wild-card standings with points, games left (GL; fewer games played is the first tiebreaker) and regulation/overtime wins (ROW, the second tiebreaker)

East Pts GL ROW

Islanders 89 8 36

Flyers 85 8 34

Red Wings 85 7 35

West Pts GL ROW

Predators 91 7 35

Wild 85 6 34

Avalanche 80 7 34

Chicago's Cup defense officially on 03/27/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 27, 2016 11:27pm]
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