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Los Angeles 2; Vancouver 0

April 6, 2003 at 8:05 PM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 6 (UPI) -- Jamie Storr recorded his third shutout of the season Sunday as Los Angeles stunned Vancouver, 2-0, in the season finale for both teams.

For the winners, Mikko Eloranta scored with 5:55 remaining as the Kings prevented the Canucks from capturing the Northwest Division title.

Vancouver needed a tie or even an overtime loss to unseat the Colorado Avalanche as Northwest Division champions, but the Canucks could not get the puck past Storr, who had not won since March 8. Instead of facing playoff newcomer Minnesota in the first round, Vancouver will take on the St. Louis Blues.

Canucks captain Markus Naslund also lost out on a couple of individual accomplishments. He started the final day of the season with a one-point lead in the race for the Art Ross Trophy, but finished two behind Colorado's Peter Forsberg for NHL scoring title. Naslund also was runner-up to Colorado's Milan Hejduk for the goal-scoring crown and the Maurice Richard Trophy.

Storr stopped five shots in the first period, 14 in the second, and eight in the third on the way to his 16th career shutout.

With Vancouver six minutes away from the division crown, Eloranta picked off defenseman a clearing attempt by Brent Sopel at the left point. He got the puck to Jon Sim, whose shot from the top of the right faceoff circle was stopped by Dan Cloutier.

Rookie Jerred Smithson put the rebound off the left goalpost, but Eloranta got the puck and scored his first goal since Feb. 9.

Eric Belanger added an empty-netter with 43 seconds left to help the Kings conclude a disappointing season with wins in four of their last five games.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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