Blackhawks clinch playoff spot

The Canadian Press
Mark Janzen

Vancouver’s march to the draft lottery continued yesterday as the Canucks lost their eighth-straight game—falling 3-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks after a late go-ahead goal from Andrew Ladd.
Ladd scored the game-winner with just over two minutes to go in the third period as the visitors salvaged a critical win while keeping the Canucks at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
“It’s frustrating,” said Alex Burrows, who scored Vancouver’s first goal.
“You never want to lose that many games in a row.
“Right now it’s frustrating because we know we’re not going to get in [the playoffs],” he added.
“It’s going to be a really long summer of working out and a lot of time in the gym.
“We have to use these next few weeks for the young guys to show what they got,” Burrows noted.
Jonathan Toews stickhandled into the Canucks’ zone on a 2-on-1 with Marian Hossa, but elected to drop 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.
Ladd was coming off a three-point night against Calgary on Saturday in which he scored two goals and added an assist.
With the win, the defending-champion Blackhawks officially clinched a playoff spot for the eighth-straight year.
With seven games left in their season, Vancouver is tied with Edmonton for last place in the conference with 67 points.
The Oilers only have four games left on their schedule.
Chicago’s Trevor van Riemsdyk had two assists for the visitors while Tomas Fleischmann and Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Blackhawks (44-25-7).
Sven Baertschi also had a goal for the Canucks (27-35-13), with Emerson Etem having a two-assist night.
Chicago earned back-to-back wins for the first time since March 2 while Blackhawks’ goalie Scott Darling made 26 saves for his ninth victory of the season.
“We wanted to build on [Saturday] night’s win and just keep getting points,” noted Ladd.
“It’s still a dogfight in the standings and for position, and these are the games you need to have and a lot of times they are tough,” he added.
“You are playing against a team with nothing to lose and a lot of young guys that are trying to prove something, and it can go either way.”
The Canucks haven’t won since a 4-2 victory over Nashville back on March 12. The only point they earned over their eight-game skid came in an overtime loss to the Predators last Thursday.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Carolina beat New Jersey 3-2 and Pittsburgh edged the N.Y. Rangers 3-2 (OT).