Canucks begin final week in third place

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

When will the Vancouver Canucks play three full periods of hockey? In the Stanley Cup playoffs, perhaps?

The Canucks allowed the visiting Calgary Flames a 3-0 lead before dominating Saturday's third period. Calgary hung on for a 3-2 win and bolstered its bid for the final Western conference playoff spot.

Canucks' captain Markus Naslund was credited with a goal for the first time since March 8 and only the third time in the entire month. Video replay officials approved the power-play marker with almost four minutes remaining. Naslund punched the puck over the goal line with help from Flames' netminder Miikka Kiprusoff's stick.

The Canucks remain the Western conference's third-place team with a game in hand and a three-point advantage over Northwest division rival Minnesota Wild. One Wild loss and one Canucks win would give Vancouver home-ice advantage in the first round. Minnesota, however, could still nudge Canucks out of third spot if the teams end with the same points and wins. The Wild won the regular season series 5-3 and split the four games decided by tiebreakers.

The Wild play the hapless Edmonton Oilers twice and the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks, who could mathematically win the President's Trophy for first overall, host the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow (7 p.m. Team 1040/ Sportsnet) and the Colorado Avalanche Thursday before visiting San Jose and Phoenix on Easter weekend. 


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