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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:53 pm 

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(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks wrapped up the Western Conferences top seed last time out. ... men-gt-37/ . Their first ever Presidents Trophy could be next tonight with a little bit of help. The Canucks take aim at a fifth straight victory tonight at Rogers Arena against the Los Angeles Kings, who also go for a fifth win in a row after surviving a big test without their top two scorers last time out. Vancouver made sure the road to the Stanley Cup Finals in the Western Conference would go through British Columbia with Tuesdays 3-1 win over Nashville. That win has the Canucks nine points up on the Eastern Conference- leading Flyers with five games to play. Though Philadelphia does have a game in hand, Vancouver can clinch finishing with the NHLs best record with a victory and a Flyers loss versus the Atlanta Thrashers tonight. Alexandre Burrow scored twice and Roberto Luongo made 16 saves versus the Predators for his NHL-leading 36th win of the season for the Canucks, who wrapped a perfect four-game road trip to extend their road winning streak to a club-record nine straight games. Vancouver has also set franchise records in wins (51), road wins (26) and points (111) in a single season. Its nice, Luongo said. (Getting the top seed was) one of our goals that we set out to accomplish when we started the year, but we have more goals ahead of us. Aaron Rome scored from over 100 feet away into an empty net for his second career goal and first since April 3, 2008 for Vancouver, which has won 11 of its last 12 overall. Luongo figures to be in line for some more rest before the playoffs and is 11-8-2 with a 2.33 GAA in his career against the Kings, while backup Cory Schneider has never faced them. Already without forward Justin Williams for at least the rest of the regular season due to a dislocated right shoulder, the Kings visited the Oilers on Tuesday and left town with a 2-0 victory despite not having Anze Kopitar in the lineup. The forward suffered a right ankle injury versus Colorado on Saturday and isnt expected to return until next season after undergoing surgery on Wednesday. Without those two snipers, backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves for his third shutout of the season and captain Dustin Brown scored twice to give the Kings an 8-1-2 mark in their last 11 games. Los Angeles is fifth overall in the Western Conference with 94 points, one up on sixth-place Anaheim and one behind Phoenix with two fewer games played. The Kings still have a shot at the Pacific Division title as well. They are three points behind the Sharks with six games to play for both teams, including a scheduled meeting in San Jose on April 4. At the end of the day hockeys a team game and we played a pretty good team game tonight at both ends of the ice, said Brown, who now leads Los Angeles with 27 goals. Weve got good players in here and when were at the best as a team its because of structure not because of individual performances so thats a positive for us. A victory tonight will give the Kings their second-longest win streak of the season behind only a six-game run from Oct. 28-Nov. 13, and Jonathan Quick is slated to get the start. He has a solid 1.98 goals-against average in nine career starts against the Canucks, but is just 3-5-1. The Kings picked up a pair of victories in October over the Canucks, who then snapped their three-game series losing streak with a 3-1 road win on March 5. It was also Vancouvers eighth victory in the past 12 meetings and it has captured four of the past five at home against Los Angeles. . "We decided to just go for a clean up. I think its a good thing for me, at least I can come back this season. I dont have to sit out the rest of the year and wait for next year," said Spacek, who said the procedure would happen as soon as possible. . In Bumgarners (4-9) last outing against Minnesota on Tuesday, he lasted just a third of an inning and allowed eight runs to become the first pitcher in the modern era to give up nine hits and record less than two outs in game. Although Stephan Bonnar never officially said the words, he certainly felt retired from the UFC. During a punishing decade in mixed martial arts, Bonnar fought everywhere from his native Indianas small arenas to a strange eco-resort way up the Amazon in Brazil. He secured a permanent legacy in arguably the most important bout in UFC history seven years ago, brawling with Forrest Griffin in the thrilling fight that pointed MMA toward global popularity. But Bonnar never got a title shot, and he was weary of the grind as he reached his mid-30s. He decided he would fish, coach, comment, act and be a father to his first child arriving this month. "I had been really letting myself go," Bonnar said. "I hadnt been to the gym in months for the first time in a while." So what in the world is this nearly retired light heavyweight doing in an octagon in Rio de Janeiro at UFC 153 on Saturday night, fighting pound-for-pound champion Anderson Silva in front of the middleweight titleholders frenzied Brazilian fans? The 35-year-old Bonnar believes in seizing opportunities, even if this one only turns out to be the opportunity to get a historic beating. After a series of injuries, card changes and general mayhem in the UFC ranks, Bonnar (17-7) improbably ended up with a bout against Silva (30-4), only the greatest fighter in the young sports history. "Its a perfect underdog story," Bonnar said. "Its Rocky IV. Im fighting Drago in Moscow. What have I got to lose there?" UFC 153s main event might be a historic mismatch, but it also could be cinematic in its extremes. Bonnar, who couldnt land any fight worth his blood and sweat earlier this year, candidly acknowledges hes the longest of long shots at HSBC Arena against the fearsome Spider. "How could you argue against it?" Bonnar asked. "All the records he has. The win streak. Fifteen UFC fights, and only one guy gave him a competitive match. Everyone makes me look human." Indeed, Bonnar doesnt shy away from absorbing a strike, and he cuts and bleeds with alarming ease at times. But the fighter known as the American Psycho for his striking good looks and screw-loose attitude is just crazy enough to think hes got a shot against Silva. "If I go in there and get destroyed in a minute, that really means nothing," Bonnar said. "I wont elevate myself at all. If I go in there, give him a good run and lose maybe a close decision, Im sure I could get some bigger-name fights. ... men-ol-63/. I go in there and beat him and have the biggest upset in MMA history, a perfect modern-day Rocky story, and its going to be hard not hanging it up on such a perfect ending. It could go a lot of different ways." Silva and Bonnar both stepped up with a month to prepare after injuries and schedule changes forced featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Vitor Belfort, Eric Koch and Rampage Jackson to drop off the Brazilian card. The matchup isnt without complications for Silva, who just defeated Chael Sonnen in July during the UFCs biggest show of the year. Hes moving up from 185 pounds to 205 for just the third time in his career. "I stepped up because I wanted to give back to my Brazilian fans," Silva said. "Stephan Bonnar is a great challenge. This is a UFC champion fighting a guy who has one of the longest histories in the UFC." Bonnar hadnt fought or trained seriously since last November, but at least he had been working out with Dave Bautista, the former WWE wrestler trying to break into MMA in his 40s. "Just for my general health and wellness, I went and rolled a little bit, just to get in mediocre shape," Bonnar said. "Im really glad I did." Thats where he got a text message from his manager, asking if he would fight Silva. Bonnar thought he was joking. The next day, UFC President Dana White confirmed it was real. "I made a rule to myself that I wouldnt fight anybody with fewer Twitter followers than me," said Bonnar, who had just over 58,000 followers Friday. "I wasnt joking, either. If Im going to do this again, its got to be against a big name. Well, I got a big name." He also had to compress his usual three-month training regimen into three weeks before travelling to Brazil, packing in promotional appearances on both ends. Whats more, his wife, Andrea, is due to give birth to their first child late this month in Las Vegas, but the baby could arrive at any time -- even while Bonnar is in the octagon with Silva. Bonnar might leave the octagon on his back, or he might fly home from Brazil with the biggest upset victory in MMA history. At the very least, Bonnar figures hell have another crazy story to tell his son. "I think everything is kind of working out," Bonnar said. "It seems like all the chips fell into place just right. Seems like everything just happens perfectly where I could be in shape to fight three hard rounds. Ill have a shot." ' ' '

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