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GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (41-24-12) at Vancouver Canucks (41-30-7).
TIME: Monday, 10 p.m. EDT.
With a win over the Vancouver Canucks, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks can clinch a playoff berth and hurt the Canucks' chances of making the postseason.
The Mighty Ducks try to do both when they visit Vancouver in the second contest of a five-game road trip.
Vancouver - in a cluster of teams battling for the final Western Conference playoff spots - is five points behind fifth-place Anaheim with four games remaining. However, the Mighty Ducks have a game in hand and would have 96 points with a victory, more than the Canucks could possibly attain.
Anaheim beat Los Angeles 4-2 on Saturday night to close in on its first playoff berth since advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002-03. The Mighty Ducks have won four of their last five games to break away from a pack of five teams fighting for the last three spots.
With the victory over the Kings, the Mighty Ducks also set a team record for victories in a season and moved within four points of Nashville for the fourth spot in the West.
"It was huge win for us, we are one step closer" said Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. "It's good because we need to prove to ourselves that we can play good on the road before the playoffs start. There are another four big games coming up."
Anaheim follows this contest with a game against Northwest Division-leading Calgary, then finishes its road trip against Edmonton and San Jose.
"Everybody is working so hard and I've always said confidence is the key," said Teemu Selanne, Anaheim's leading scorer with 86 points. "I don't care who you are or what you do, you've got to have the confidence. This team is unbelievable right now. Every line is doing their job."
The Canucks picked up two critical points by beating Calgary 3-2 in overtime on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Vancouver welcomed back defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who scored the goal in overtime in his first action since having abdominal surgery on Feb. 1.
"This type of emotional win will hopefully catapult us into the next game," said Vancouver coach Marc Crawford.
Following the game against the Mighty Ducks, Vancouver has a home-and-home series with San Jose that may determine who ends up with the last playoff spot in the West.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 94 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division. Canucks - 89 points, 4th place, 9 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 38 goals and 86 points; Selanne and Scott Niedermayer, 48 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 174 PIM. Canucks - Anson Carter, 31 goals; Henrik Sedin, 54 assists; Markus Naslund, 74 points; Jarkko Ruutu, 138 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 18.3 percent (82 for 447), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.0 percent (404 for 481), 7th. Canucks - Power play: 17.8 percent (89 for 501), 17th. Penalty killing: 81.9 percent (398 for 486), 16th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (28-13-11, 2 SO, 2.62 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (13-11-1, 1, 2.53). Canucks - Alex Auld (33-24-5, 2.87); Mika Noronen (1-3-0, 4.15).
SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: April 2; Mighty Ducks, 6-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Selanne and Samuel Pahlsson each scored two goals to lead Anaheim to its seventh straight victory at home.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 16-14-7 on the road; Canucks - 24-9-5 at home.
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