They scratched and they clawed, but on Tuesday night the Vancouver Canucks ultimately came up short.
Despite holding a healthy lead over the Seattle Kraken at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, the Canucks have been officially eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That’s because in Dallas, the Stars and Vegas Golden Knights went to a shootout, earning each team at least a point.
That was enough to mathematically eliminate the Canucks, who can reach no higher than 93 points with three games left.
Dallas won the game, giving them 95 points on the season. Vegas is still alive, barely, with 91 points.
Few gave Vancouver a chance to make the playoffs in early December, when they sat near the bottom of the NHL standings with a 8-15-2 record after firing GM Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green.
Their fortunes changed under Bruce Boudreau, who seemingly turned the team around overnight. The Canucks are 30-15-9 in 54 games since the coaching change, giving Vancouver the 12th-best record in the NHL since December 6, entering Tuesday’s games.
It was enough to put the Canucks in a playoff race, which at least provided some intrigue for fans in March and April.
The Canucks have now missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, and fans in Vancouver haven’t been able to attend a playoff game at Rogers Arena since 2015.
Fifteen of the 16 playoff teams this year have already been decided, with Dallas and Vegas still fighting for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week.
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