The Vancouver Canucks won’t be playing playoff hockey this season and they have Joe Thornton to blame.
Vancouver will miss the post-season for the first time since 2000 after dropping a 5-3 decision in San Jose Thursday, their second loss in as many nights to the playoff-bound Sharks.
Thornton picked up three assists Thursday night, 24 hours after he tallied four assists to lead San Jose to a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in Vancouver.
Ales Hemsky and the Edmonton Oilers had probably left the rink by time they clinched a playoff berth.
The 22-year-old right-winger scored the winning goal with 34 seconds left in the third period as the Oilers earned a 2-1 win over Anaheim Thursday. The Oilers didn’t lock up the last playoff spot in the Western Conference until the Vancouver Canucks lost 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks over an hour later.
The Nashville Predators may not have their top goaltender for the postseason, but they will start the playoffs at home.
Mike Sillinger scored two goals, and the Predators clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs on their first try with a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night with their fourth straight victory.