Henrik Sedin paces Canucks' rout
Henrik Sedin's first career hat-trick and a pair of goals from Steve Bernier powered the Vancouver Canucks to an 8-2 win over the Avalanche in Colorado on Saturday night.
The Canucks jumped out to an early lead they never surrendered by potting three goals in the first period, two by Sedin within the game's opening eight minutes.
Sedin added his 12th marker of the year late in the third period on a power-play, one of four the Canucks scored in the final frame.
Mathieu Schneider, Jannik Hansen, and Tanner Glass also scored as the Canucks wrapped up a five-game road swing (2-3).
"It was huge for us, especially after the last few games where we haven't scored a whole lot of goals," said Sedin, after his 667th NHL game on Saturday.
The team had found the net three times in three games. "So we got some easy ones tonight. That's what happens when you put pucks to the net."
Eleven Canucks had assists, including three each by Ryan Johnson and Mason Raymond.
"It's something to build on," Sedin said. "It gives the guys confidence."
As for his hat trick, better late than never.
"I've played almost 700 games, but of course it's nice to get a hat trick," he said with a shrug.
Roberto Luongo made 31 saves and was perfect until Marek Svatos broke his shutout bid on a power-play chance with just over 14 minutes left in the game.
"They made a strong push, they had a few chances," Luongo said. "Unfortunately, they got a couple goals but we bounced right back and answered right away."
Craig Anderson gave up four goals in two periods of work before Peter Budaj took his place in the third.
Budaj fared even worse, allowing four more on eight shots.
"They outworked us in all aspects of the game," Colorado forward Paul Stastny said. "We have to be ready to play and we weren't and it showed. From top to bottom, we have to be better."
Goals 10, 11, 12 for Sedin
Sedin opened the scoring on a nifty play started by linemate Raymond, who gained the zone on the right side, stopped quickly and waited for Ryan Kesler to streak through the slot.
Raymond launched a slap pass that was tipped by Kesler — after the puck rang off the post; it died in the crease beside Avs goalie Craig Anderson. Sedin stuffed the loose puck in for his first goal of the night.
Raymond and Sedin struck again at 12:50. Henrik crashed the crease and launched the pass from Raymond over Anderson before the Swede slid into the back of the net himself.
Hansen scored his first goal of the season, gathering a rebound in the slot and sliding it past a sprawled Anderson at 10:59 of the first period.
Some bad blood between the Northwest Division rivals rose to the surface late in the third period when Adam Foote and Mikael Samuelsson got into a scuffle.
During a scrum in the Avs' end of the ice, Foote shoved the Canucks' winger into a referee in the corner. Samuelsson shoved back and ended up taking Foote's helmet off when the Colorado captain pushed him down onto the ice.
Foote pursued Samuelsson to the front of the net and wrapped a gloved hand around Samuelsson's throat and gave him a facewash before both were sent off with roughing minors.
Anderson has worst seat in the house
The Canucks continued to pour it on in the middle frame — Schneider added his second of the season off a blast from the point that beat a screened Anderson.
A lot of the credit goes to Alex Burrows, who was parked in front of the Colorado crease; making sure the Avs' goalie didn't get a peek at the bullet shot off of Schneider's stick.
Despite having his team heavily outshot — at one point in the third, the Avs lead 12-1— Luongo kept a lid on things.
Svatos was able to finally solve the Canucks goaltender during a power play as the Colorado forward gobbled up a rebound and the shutout bid was broken.
The Avs' Matt Hendricks and Bernier traded goals 25 seconds apart before Henrik completed his hat-trick.
Bernier added his second of the night to add to the beating on the scoreboard, but the beating on the ice was prolonged by a scrap between Rick Rypien and Cody McLeod.
Glass added the eighth goal with 15 seconds to go to complete the rout.
Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk returned to the lineup after missing two games because of an aching back, while teammate Tom Preissing made his season debut on the blue-line, returning from a right knee injury. He played just over 13 minutes and had one blocked shot.
With files from The Associated Press