A Canadian place is all that remains in the battle over which teams will be allowed to play for the Stanley Cup in late spring.

Montreal only need one point to pinch the place, but as long as they do not, hope lives on for Calgary and to some extent Vancouver.

And Calgary do what they can, visiting Ottawa finally had no chance when the home team set off.

Ottawa, with Anton Forsberg in goal, resisted well during the first 20 minutes.

But when the goals fell in during the second half of the second period, the air went out of the team.

Forsberg was replaced by Filip Gustavsson but 0-4 was a too steep hill.

- I think we played well.

Our first half was really good.

Nice to get many goals, from different players, we have had a hard time with that this year, says Calgary's center Mikael Backlund, who made it 2-0 just 17 seconds into the second period.

Playing to win

Now the team must repeat its game the next four matches for the dream of playoffs to live on.

- Now we will go out and play hard and to win.

On Thursday, we know how the situation is, but we will prepare as usual and hopefully win the matches, says Backlund.

Vancouver also has minimal hope of taking last place.

The team, which has been hit hard by Covid, will then have to win all seven remaining matches, while Montreal will lose its remaining two matches.

Energyless Dallas

In Chicago, a mentally exhausted Dallas lost 2-4.

The team had been knocked out less than 24 hours earlier in the battle for a Stanley Cup spot.

- It was noticed that there was not much energy in the room at the morning meeting, the guys were very down this morning after we went out.

And when you are in that mood, you easily end up at a disadvantage with 1-3 already at the beginning of the match.

But we fought back and had a good second period, says Dallas coach Rick Bowness.

- We had enough chances to get back in the match but then they got their fourth goal and then it was game over.

The two teams end the season with a new match against each other, the night before Monday Swedish time.

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