Canucks spoil Sakic's 500th goal

Joe Sakic gained membership into an exclusive club, but it wasn't enough for the victory.

Using his trademark wrist shot, Sakic scored the 500th goal of his NHL career on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, that's all of the offence the Colorado Avalanche could manage as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks.

Mattias Ohlund, Brendan Morrison and Daniel Sedin each scored for the Canucks, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

The Canucks had a two-goal lead before Sakic scored his milestone marker.

With Markus Naslund in the penalty box for tripping, the Avs power play unit went to work. They threw the puck around the zone until defenceman Derek Morris spotted a wide-open Sakic in the slot.

Sakic made no mistake as he deposited the puck underneath the crossbar at 4:25 of the second period to beat Dan Cloutier.

Sakic, who was raised in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, received a standing ovation from the crowd. The entire Avalanche bench jumped over the boards to congratulate its captain.

"I was surprised by the ovation but they have great fans here," he said. "We got down a couple of goals and tried to battle back. In the third period Cloutier made some pretty good saves."

The 33-year-old forward is now the 31st member of the exclusive 500-goal club. The list includes such stars as Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Frank Mahovlich, Jean Beliveau, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman.

"It was a big boost for their club and made the game 2-1," Brendan Morrison said of Sakic's 17th goal of the season.

"There was a good chance they could have got back into it but we responded well tonight."

Other than allowing Sakic's goal, which was no fault of his own, Cloutier was pretty strong in nets for the Canucks, stopping Milan Hejduk from in close and Alex Tanguay on a short-handed effort.

He made 26 saves.

Ohlund ended a prolonged 30-game scoring drought at 4:21 of the first. Taking a Trevor Linden pass from the corner, he skated behind the net then brought the puck out front and fired a shot past Patrick Roy for his first goal of the season.

The Canucks were struggling, winning just two of their last five games since establishing a new club record with 10 straight wins, but they looked like they regained their form on Wednesday night.

Their power play, which was in the middle of a dry spell heading into the Avs game, was back clicking again with two goals.