It was a night where all the teams in the playoff chase in the Western Conference picked up points with the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes being a three-pointer. With the win, the Jets improve to 10-3-1 under coach Paul Maurice and 5-1 at home since the coaching change. With 21 games remaining, the Jets are now on 64 points and just two out of the final playoff spot. The team plays another divisional game Saturday afternoon in Nashville (You can catch the action live on TSN Jets or listen on TSN 1290.) The Predators sit two points back of the Jets. Thursday marked the Jets 35th one-goal game this season, the second highest in the league. Oliver Ekman-Larsson opened the scoring as he did January 13 when these two teams met at MTS Centre. On that night his goal came at 12:16. In this game it was 12:17 in. In the first meeting, Olli Jokinen tied the game 36 seconds later. Thursday, Blake Wheeler tied it 2:38 later. It was Wheelers team-leading 23rd of the year. Shots in the first were 11-9 for Phoenix. The only goal of the second came on a Jets power play, as Bryan Little beat Mike Smith off of a turnover. It was his 19th of the year and sixth powerplay goal of the season. Little now has 48 points on the season, three shy of his tying his career single season high. The shots in the second were 10-7 for the Jets. Phoenix tied the game on a third period power play following a very weak hooking call on Jim Slater. Both teams had reason to question some of the calls and non-calls in this game. Martin Hanzal buried a rebound for his 15th of the year to send the game to overtime. Shots in the third favoured Phoenix 13-9. The Coyotes were the better team in overtime and only a number of great saves by Ondrej Pavelec took the game to a shootout. The shots in overtime were 5-1 for Phoenix and 39-29 Coyotes in the game.Antoine Vermettes shootout marker for the Coyotes was cancelled out by Devin Setoguchi and Olli Jokinens for Winnipeg as the Jets prevailed. Vermette had his 10-game point streak snapped, while Andrew Ladd had his five-game point streak snapped. Wheeler has points in 13 of his last 17 games. In the two games against Phoenix, Pavelec has stopped 52 of 55 shots, is 2-0 and has a save percentage of .945. Jacob Trouba led the Jets in ice time at 26:39, while Little took a team high 24 face-offs, winning 13. Jim Slater and Evander Kane both returned to the line-up, Slater has been out since mid-October, while Kane missed the last six before the break."It was a slugfest for the puck, but the game was better than I thought it would be after the layoff," commented Maurice post-game. "Teams generated good looks, there were good saves. I liked our goaltending and in the end he delivered two points. We were a little uptight after the 2-2 goal. But I dont complain about getting two points. That team (Phoenix) played pretty well." The coach was also impressed by his goalie, Pavelec. "They had three prime chances in overtime," said Maurice. "He wins the game with the saves in overtime and the shootout. He really competed." Keith Smith Jersey
.Cullen scored the go-ahead goal at 13:47 of the third period and Nashville beat the slumping Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday in a game that wasnt decided until the last shot of the night. Marcus Allen Jersey
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. The United States clinched the final berth into the Ford Worlds, March 28-April 6 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, on Saturday in Blaine, Minn.With the NHL regular season right around the corner, TSN.ca profiles each team leading up to puck drop. Next up is the Vancouver Canucks a€“ looking to rebound from an abysmal season with a new GM, head coach, starting goaltender and winning attitude. Catch up on their off-season moves and the issues they face this season, as well as their analytical breakdown by TSNs Scott Cullen. Division: Pacific GM: Jim Benning Head Coach: Willie Desjardins 2013-14: 36-35-11 (5th in Pacific) Playoffs: Did not qualify Goals For: 191 (28th) Goals Against: 216 (14th) PP: 15.2% (26th) PK: 83.2 (9th) That Was Then: John Tortorella was to be given one big advantage as head coach last season - there was to be no goaltending controversy. After a year dominated by the Roberto Luongo vs. Cory Schneider narrative, GM Mike Gillis finally put an end to it shipping Schneider to the New Jersey Devils. Luongo was the man left standing and this was to be his team. But things didnt go remotely to plan. Tortorella had the Canucks play a defence-first approach with an emphasis on blocking shots rather than the high-transition game that took them to a Stanley Cup Final. The Sedins found themselves with newfound defensive assignments and they floundered. Henriks NHL iron man streak ended in January with bruised ribs and he went on to miss the Winter Olympics. Daniels season was cut short late in the year with a groin injury. Tortorella even played a starring role in the Canucks 2013-14 sideshow in January when he took exception to a line-brawl that broke out between the Canucks and Calgary Flames. Tortorella stormed the Flames dressing room at the intermission and had to be physically restrained in his attempts to get at Calgary coach Bob Hartley. Tortorella was suspended 15 days (including six Canucks games) without pay, banning him from contact with the team. As it turned out, the goaltending controversy was not actually over. Neither Luongo nor back-up Eddie Lack sparkled last season, but when Tortorella chose to start Lack over Luongo in the outdoor Heritage Classic in early March, the team once again invited contention. Just days later, Luongo and his almost immovable contract were dealt to the Florida Panthers. The Canucks won just eight games after the incident in Calgary, going 8-18-1 to finish the season and earning the NHLs seventh-worst record. Both coach and GM were dismissed at the end of the season to conclude a year that the Canucks would like to forget, missing the playoffs for just the third time in 13 seasons. Scott Cullens Analytics Canucks 2013-14 Stats by Quarter Games GPG GAA SH% SV% SAF% PTS% 1-20 2.65 2.60 8.6 .910 52.0% .600 21-41 2.62 1.90 7.5 .938 52.4% .707 42-62 1.80 3.00 5.6 .929 48.5% .317 63-82 2.30 3.05 6.9 .905 42.7% .425 NHL AVG 2.67 2.67 7.8 .922 50.0% .562 Key: GPG= goals per game, GAA= goals-against per game, SH%= even-strength shooting percentage, SV%= even-strength save percentage, SAF%= score-adjusted Fenwick percentage (differential of shot attempts faced vs. shot attempts, excluding blocked shots, adjusted for game score), PTS%= percentage of available points. Analysis: Games 1-20: Goaltending was shaky early, but Canucks finished at a high enough rate to be in good position through the first quarter. Games 21-41: Great goaltending, combined with continued strong possession numbers, had the Canucks rolling. Games 42-62: Injuries caught up to them, with H. Sedin. Burrows, Luongo, Bieksa and Tanev missing time, and goal-scoring dried up. Games 63-82: Already in tailspin and traded Luongo, so goaltending wasnt up to par, even for a team still putting up solid possession stats. Key 2014 Additions: C Nick Bonino, RW Derek Dorsett, G Ryan Miller, D Luca Sbisa, RW Linden Vey, RW Radim Vrbata Key 2014 Subtractions: LW David Booth, C Zac Dalpe, D Jason Garrison, C Ryan Kesler, C Mike Santorelli, C Jordan Schroeder This Is Now: The page has now been completely turned on last years disastrous season with new management in place. Club legend Trevor Linden was installed as president of hockey operations and his first hire was GM Jim Benning. Willie Desjardins, fresh off of leading the Dallas Stars AHL-affiliate to a Calder Cup triumph, was named the teams new head coach. The team also moved quickly to address Ryan Keslers future with the club, trading him to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa (and a 2014 first-rounder). On July 1, Ryan Miller was brought in to man the crease. While he wasnt the piece to put the St. Louis Blues over the top, Miller could thrive in Vancouver. A workhorse of a goalie, the Vezina trophy winner brings experience and a winning pedigree. The defence in front of Luongo is largely unchanged from last season, aside from the addition of Sbisa, who slots into the top four and could see more ice time and responsibility than he did last season with the Ducks. Bonino was the third-leading scorer on the Ducks last season and centred their first unit on the power play. The Canucks hope he might be able to improve on Keslers production on the second line and he is certain to be given the opportunity for big power play minutes. In Radim Vrbata, the Canucks bring a winger who became a consistent goal scorer out of the media spotlight in Phoenix. Vrbata likely gets placed on the top line with the Sedins and will be playing with the most skilled linemates hes ever had in his career. A full year next to the sibling duo and its not unreasonable to think that Vrbata can once again crack the 30-goal mark. But everything falls back on the Sedins. Desjardins understands that his stars are 34-yyears-old and when healthy, remain elite playmakers.dddddddddddd Putting the twins back into the roles in which theyre accustomed should go a long way to making sure that last season was an aberration. TSN Vancouver reporter Farhan Laljis Five Key Storylines heading into training camp: 1. Can the Sedins bounce back? After putting up MVP-type numbers the first month of last season, Daniel and Henrik were signed to four-year, $28 million extensions. From that moment on, their production plummeted to levels not seen since their first two years in the league. If the twins cant return to point-per game players, their contracts will be seen as anchors despite being two of the most popular Canucks ever. 2. Will Alex Edler live up to his potential? The Canucks had the opportunity move him before his no-trade clause kicked in last July to the Red Wings for a pair of young forwards but chose not to. He finished with a league-worst minus-39 last season, but new Canucks president Trevor Linden still gave him a vote of confidence when he took over the reins. Edler is just two years removed from a career-high 49-point season, but since then play has been marred by injuries and inconsistency. 3. What kind of an impact will Ryan Miller have? He will be counted on significantly by a team that had plenty of problems scoring goals a year ago. When he was acquired by the Blues at last years trade deadline he did not live up to expectations. Will a full training camp with his new team make a big difference? 4. Can Willie Desjardins breathe some life back into Alex Burrows? He has had back-to-back injury-plagued seasons, but last season the bottom fell out: Just 5 goals, 15 points and a minus-9 in 49 games. There was clearly friction between him and John Tortorella, but a change of head coach may help Burrows as much as anyone on the team. But the question remains, is Burrows a top line (or even top six) forward with this team any longer, and can he be a 25 goal scorer again - which he did for four straight seasons through 2011-12. 5. The Riddle In The Middle While few in the organization disputed the need to lift the black cloud that was Ryan Kesler, there is big concern about who will play behind Henrik Sedin as the Canucks second line center. Nick Bonino and Linden Vey will vie for the spot. Bonino registered 22 goals and 49 points in Anaheim last season, but much of that was on the power play playing next to Ryan Getzlaf. He wont be playing with players of that calibre here, so can he produce at the same level. Vey was a top prospect with the Kings playing behind the deepest center ice corps in the league. Most experts believe he is ready to be a full time NHLer and will be given every opportunity with the Canucks. There is certainly more depth at center-ice depth than there was a year ago, but how high end that depth is remains to be seen. DEPTH CHART Forwards Left Wing Centre Right Wing Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Radim Vrbata Zack Kassian Nick Bonino Alexandre Burrows Chris Higgins Linden Vey Jannik Hansen Tom Sestito Brad Richardson Derek Dorsett Hunter Shinkaruk Shawn Matthias Niklas Jensen Michael Zalewski Bo Horvat Alexandre Grenier Defence Left Right Dan Hamhuis Chris Tanev Kevin Bieksa Alexander Edler Ryan Stanton Frank Corrado Luca Sbisa Yannick Weber Peter Andersson Bobby Sanguinetti Goaltenders Ryan Miller Eddie Lack Jacob Markstrom Craigs List A list of the Canucks top prospects as ranked by TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button. A-Level Prospects No. Name Pos. 2013-14 Club 1 Bo Horvat C Edmonton (WHL) 2 Jake Virtanen LW London (OHL) 3 Nicklas Jensen RW Utica (AHL) 4 Hunter Shinkaruk LW Medicine Hat (WHL) 5 Jared McCann C Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) B-Level Prospects No. Name Pos. 2013-14 Club 6 Cole Cassels C Oshawa (OHL) 7 Linden Vey RW Manchester (AHL) 8 Brendan Gaunce C Belleville/Erie (OHL) 9 Thatcher Demko G Boston College (NCAA) 10 Frank Corrado D Utica (AHL) Fantasy - Cullens Player to Watch - Alex Edler Last season was a rough one for Edler, as he scored 22 points and had a league-worst minus-39 rating in 63 games, but that wasnt all on him. His possession numbers were solid enough, but he had ridiculously bad luck in terms of how others shot the puck when he was on the ice. Theres also the matter of Edler remaining a prominent part of the Vancouver power play. The only Canucks defenceman to finish with more power play points last season was Jason Garrison, and hes in Tampa Bay now, so Edler will keep playing a prominent role. Even if Edler plays at a level similar to last season, he would be due for dramatically improved numbers based solely on his on-ice shooting and on-ice save percentages falling more in line with his established career norms. Should he play a little better, and get better percentages, then Edler could have a big rebound year. 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