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Vancouver Canucks defeat Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1

Chris Higgins #20 celebrates with teammates Derek Dorsett #51, Yannick Weber #6 and Brad Richardson #15 after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Canucks took another step towards returning to the playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

Chris Higgins, Derek Dorsett and Jannik Hansen scored for the Canucks in the first half of the game, giving Vancouver a 3-0 lead heading into the third period.

WATCH: Higgins’ goal

Eddie Lack made 28 saves, but had a potential shutout end when Phil Kessel scored on a penalty shot with just over seven minutes to go.

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Shawn Matthias added an empty-netter with just under three minutes to go.

With the win, Vancouver returned to second place in the Pacific Division with 82 points in 68 games, one point ahead of the Calgary Flames. With 14 games left in the regular season, the website Sports Club Stats calculates the Canucks have a 93.8 per cent chance of making the playoffs, based on games remaining and strength of schedule for other teams fighting for a playoff spot.

Toronto is now 27-37-6 on the season, second-to-last in the Atlantic Division.

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