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Sibling milestone for Sedins

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — One year after Henrik Sedin led the league with 112 points, twin brother Daniel finished atop the NHL with 104 points, becoming the first brothers to win the Art Ross Trophy in consecutive seasons.

Siblings have claimed NHL scoring titles in the past — Roy Conacher in 1949 after Charlie Conacher in 1934 and 1935; Doug Bentley in 1943, followed by Max Bentley in 1946 and 1947 — but none did it back to back.

"To see Henrik do it last year was unbelievable, and to be able to do it again this year is amazing," Daniel said Monday. "You might not ever get another chance, so it's nice to be able to get it done."

Henrik, who finished fourth in scoring this season with 94 points, was happy for his brother. Still, he couldn't resist taking a gentle shot.

"It's not that special anymore for me," said a smiling Henrik, pointing out that his brother's winning total was eight behind his own. "I told him that for sure."

The Sedins, who play for the Canucks, credit each other for their success. Their ability to cycle the puck between each other leaves defenders spinning.

But the Sedins insist the short little passes and bank plays off the boards — often to a spot where the other will be, rather than where they were — are a product of playing together since minor hockey, not some special power privy to identical twins.

"Two of the smartest hockey guys ever," teammate Kevin Bieksa said.

The Sedins credit having each other as a workout partner for the annual physical improvements that have accompanied a steady rise in production, saying it's harder to cheat or take a day off with the other one pushing.

But it was the broken foot that kept Daniel out 19 games last season that led to their jump from reliable point-a-game players to back-to-back scoring titles.

"It was more a confidence-builder to see he could do it without me," said Daniel, who had 85 points in 63 games. "If we played the same way this year, why couldn't we do it again?"

The Sedins now also have a chance to become the first brothers to win separate Hart Trophies as league MVP. But Daniel isn't thinking about that.

"Our job is to score goals and score points, and I'm more proud of that," he said.

Back to Europe: The league announced four games next season in Berlin, Stockholm and Helsinki. It marks the fifth straight season the NHL will play regular-season games in Europe. The Ducks and Sabres will play Oct. 7 in Helsinki. The Rangers and Kings meet in Stockholm. The Sabres and Kings play the following day in Berlin (the NHL's first regular-season game in Germany), with the Rangers-Ducks game in Stockholm.

Wild fires coach: Minnesota fired Todd Richards after the team missed the playoffs in each of his two seasons, going 77-71-16, and for a third straight season overall. General manager Chuck Fletcher picked Richards as a first-time NHL head coach — he had been an assistant in the league for one year — over several more seasoned candidates. Fletcher refused to second-guess his first major decision on the job or blame Richards, 44, for the 12th-place finish in the West.

Panthers: General manager Dale Tallon won't rush to replace fired coach Pete DeBoer. Tallon called DeBoer a good coach and a good guy but said he was looking for someone "more like me." He said prior NHL head-coaching experience wasn't a requirement but ruled out promoting assistant coach Gord Murphy. "When you go through something like this, you want to show people that they made a mistake," DeBoer said. "I'm attracted to any job in the NHL. 'Open for business,' I guess, is the sign."

Eastern Conference

(1) Capitals vs. (8) Rangers

Wednesday: at Washington, 7:30

Friday: at Washington, 7:30, Versus

Sunday: at New York, 3, Ch. 8

April 20: at New York, 7, Versus

April 23: at Washington, 3, Ch. 8*

April 25: at New York, TBD*

April 27: at Washington, TBD*

(2) Flyers vs. (7) Sabres

Thursday: at Philadelphia, 7:30

Saturday: at Philadelphia, 5

Monday: at Buffalo, 7, Versus

April 20: at Buffalo, 7:30, Versus

April 22: at Philadelphia, 7:30*

April 24: at Buffalo, 3, Ch. 8*

April 26: at Philadelphia, TBD*

(3) Bruins vs. (6) Canadiens

Thursday: at Boston, 7, Versus

Saturday: at Boston, 7, Versus

Monday: at Montreal, 7:30

April 21: at Montreal, 7, Versus

April 23: at Boston, 7, Versus*

April 26: at Montreal, TBD*

April 27: at Boston, TBD*

Western Conference

(1) Canucks vs. (8) Blackhawks

Wednesday: at Vancouver, 10, Versus

Friday: at Vancouver, 10, Versus

Sunday: at Chicago, 8, Versus

Monday: at Chicago, 8, Versus

April 21: at Vancouver, 10, Versus*

April 24: at Chicago, 7:30*

April 26: at Vancouver, TBD*

(2) Sharks vs. (7) Kings

Thursday: at San Jose, 10, Versus

Saturday: at San Jose, 10, Versus

Monday: at Los Angeles, 10:30, Versus

April 21: at Los Angeles, 10:30

April 23: at San Jose, 10:30, Versus*

April 25: at Los Angeles, TBD*

April 27: at San Jose, TBD*

(3) Red Wings vs. (6) Coyotes

Wednesday: at Detroit, 7, Versus

Saturday: at Detroit, 1, Ch. 8

Monday: at Phoenix, 10:30, Versus

April 20: at Phoenix, 10:30 Versus

April 22: at Detroit, 7, Versus*

April 24: at Phoenix, TBD*

April 27: at Detroit, TBD*

(4) Ducks vs. (5) Predators

Wednesday: at Anaheim, 10:30

Friday: at Anaheim, 10:30

Sunday: at Nashville, TBD

April 20: at Nashville, TBD

April 22: at Anaheim, 10*

April 24: at Nashville, TBD*

April 26: at Anaheim, TBD*

* If necessary

Sibling milestone for Sedins 04/11/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2011 9:40pm]
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