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NHL: 3 things to know for Monday night

03/30/2015 12:01 EDT | Updated 05/30/2015 05:59 EDT
Vancouver and Los Angeles meet for one of the biggest Pacific division games of the year, while Winnipeg tries to find room in the playoffs. 

Here are three things to know for Monday:

Canucks face last hurdle in path to playoffs

The Vancouver Canucks begin a three-game homestand to close out the regular season. They are one of few teams in the playoff race that control their own fate.

Unfortunately, the Canucks have to get around the reigning Stanley Cup champions before facing Arizona and Edmonton in their last two games. 

They were dealt back-to-back defeats to conclude a four-game road trip, but still remain two points up on Calgary for second in the Pacific with 95 points. 

Monday's divisional showdown is crucial for both the Canucks and the Kings playoff future. Vancouver can clinch tonight if they defeat Los Angeles in regulation and Winnipeg loses to Minnesota in regulation.

Some good news for Vancouver is that injured Canucks goalie Ryan Miller continues to make progress in his recovery and could be back for the postseason. 

Kings continue to frustrate

The Los Angeles Kings aren't bowing out of the playoff picture easily. They continue to leave several teams in a precarious playoff spot as they begin a three-game Western Canada road trip.

Vancouver can be comforted by the fact that the Kings have done most of their damage at home. Their road record is 15-16-7 as they visit Rogers Arena.

A loss to the Canucks won't spell disaster for their postseason chances, but it could allow the Winnipeg Jets the chance they need to pass the Kings in the standings. 

Los Angeles haven't missed the playoffs since ending a six-season drought in 2009-10, taking the top prize twice in their five-season streak. 

A lot at stake for the Jets

The Minnesota Wild have the chance to clinch with a regulation win as they host the hungry Winnipeg Jets. 

Minnesota sits in the first wild card spot with 96 points and have earned at least a point in their past four meetings with Winnipeg.

Conversely, if the Jets take a regulation win, they can draw within two points of the Wild. Winnipeg will get a little extra help on the blueline with the return of Ben Chiarot.

The defenceman has not played since a hand injury sidelined him on Feb. 21.

Minnesota has dropped their last two, but have not lost three in a row since acquiring goalie Devan Dubnyk on Jan. 14. The 28-year-old will make his 37th consecutive start in net. 

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