Canucks end 4-game slide
Vancouver wins 3rd in a row vs. Colorado
Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Alexandre Burrows (Van) — 1G, 1A
Matt Duchene (Col) — 1G
Daniel Sedin (Van) — 1G, 1A
Like a good flu remedy, the Colorado Avalanche continue to cure all that ails the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks snapped a four-game losing skid Wednesday night, skating to a 4-2 win over the Avalanche Wednesday night and receiving two-point performances from Daniel and Henrik Sedin, as well as Alexandre Burrows.
It was the Canucks' first win since earning a 5-3 decision over the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Nov. 13, and their third consecutive victory this season over Colorado.
"It's tough," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said. "Every game against them has been close.
"We weren't as consistent as we should have been. We've just got to stick to our game a little bit more."
The victory brought out the best in a trio of Canucks who have had trouble scoring lately. Daniel Sedin bagged his 13th goal of the season (and his first in four games), Kevin Bieksa netted his first of the campaign and Burrows ended a five-game scoring drought.
"We had a lot of chances right off the bat," Burrows said. "Hank and Danny made a few plays and we had some shots off the rush with defencemen coming in.
"I thought we played much better. We kept our shifts shorter.
"Everybody worked hard and it showed. We were a bit faster than them tonight."
Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo also rebounded, making 20 saves to earn his eighth victory after giving up a 10 goals in his last three starts — all losses.
The Canucks' Ryan Kesler scored his 100th NHL goal in the win.
"It's not that big of a deal," he said. "It's 100 — obviously it's a nice milestone — but it's all from hard work."
With the victory, Vancouver improved its record to 11-7-3 and moved into a tie atop the Northwest Division with Colorado, who entered Wednesday's contest riding a four-game winning streak.
The scoring sequence
Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa opened the scoring midway through the first period on a delayed penalty call, tipping a point shot by teammate Mikael Samuelsson by Avalanche netminder Craig Anderson.
Colorado's John-Michael Liles tied things up on the power play at 5:05 of the second, but Daniel Sedin restored Vancouver's lead five minutes later, deflecting in a pass from brother Henrik.
The Canucks padded their advantage early in the third with a goal credited to Kesler. The play went to video review because it appeared Canucks forward Jeff Tambellini scored with a high stick, but replays showed he didn't make contact with the puck and the goal was allowed to stand.
"The puck went in, he never touched it," Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj said. "It's just a tough way to get scored on."
"My line has been working really hard and it's good to get a greasy one like that," Kesler said.
Duchene made it a one-goal game again at 6:46, jamming home a loose puck during a scramble for the puck in front of Luongo's crease.
The Avalanche appeared to have the momentum, but they coughed up the puck along the boards, resulting in a pretty passing play between the Sedin twins that ended with Burrows notching his second goal of the campaign at 13:06.
Save of the game
With the Canucks hanging on to a 3-2 lead midway through the third, Manny Malhotra rushed down the right wing on a two-on-one break before sliding the puck over to Raffi Torres. The Vancouver forward appeared to have Budaj beaten, but the Avalanche goalie quickly shut his pads to make the stop.
Colorado goalie Craig Anderson left the game after the first period because of a groin injury.
Anderson was making just his second start after sitting out 10 games with a knee injury. He was beaten once on seven shots in the first period and gave way to Budaj, who took over to start the second.
"I think Peter came in and played fine." Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco said. "I don't think there was any issue there.
"We didn't play our game, though. That was the bottom line."
The Avalanche also lost defenceman Adam Foote to a leg injury in the last minute of the first period. The Colorado captain was helped off the ice after being hit by Vancouver's Jeff Tambellini and didn't return to the game.
"When you lose one defenceman, you're down to five, so that changes the chemistry a little bit back there," Sacco said. "But I'd say, overall, we just weren't good enough tonight."
The Canucks won the previous two meetings of the season, 4-3 in overtime at Vancouver on Oct. 26 and 3-1 in Denver on Nov. 4. The teams don't face each other again until Jan. 2 in Colorado.
Prior to the opening faceoff, Vancouver enshrined former goalie Kirk McLean as the second Canucks player into the team's ring of honour. Last month, the club honoured Orland Kurtenback, who served as the Canucks' first captain when it entered the NHL in 1970.
Vancouver welcomes the San Jose Sharks to town on Friday night ahead of a four-day break. Colorado wraps up a three-game road trip versus the Edmonton Oilers Thursday before hosting the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.