Canucks explode for 4-goal 3rd period

The Vancouver Canucks chased Colorado goalie Craig Anderson after two periods on Nov. 14 and followed up with five goals Friday night for their third win in a row over the Avalanche, 5-2 at General Motors Place.

Ehrhoff scores twice in Vancouver's 2nd win over Avalanche in 6 days

Fortunately for Craig Anderson, he has nearly four months before he has to face another Canucks shooter.

Vancouver chased the Avalanche goalie after two periods last Saturday and followed up with five goals on Friday night for the Canucks' third consecutive win over Colorado, 5-2 at General Motors Place.

The Canucks, who hadn't played since that 8-2 rout on Nov. 14, awoke from their first-period slumber and improved as Friday's contest wore on, scoring five unanswered goals, including four times in the final 20 minutes.

Vancouver has outscored the Avalanche 8-2 in the third over the last two meetings and handed Anderson his seventh career loss in regulation to the Canucks (1-7-1).

"We've got to figure out what's going on, and figure out how to play with the lead," said Anderson, who had a cut lip and a stitch over one eye after taking a stick in the mask. "Once we figure out how to play with the lead, we'll be all right."

The Colorado netminder, who saw his record slip to 12-6-3 on the season, received little support from his defence after turning away 18 of 19 shots in the first two periods.

"We still had good jump after two periods. It's a mindset right now. It's just getting the guys to believe that, when you have a one-goal lead, you can't back down," said Avalanche rookie head coach Joe Sacco, whose team lost for the fifth time in six starts and slipped to 13-7-3.

First 2-goal game

Defenceman Christian Ehrhoff, who was held off the scoresheet a week ago, completed his first two-goal game in the NHL at 5:11 of the third. He got behind defenceman Kyle Cumiskey and buried a Mason Raymond pass to tie the game 2-2 before setting up Steve Bernier for a three-point night.

"There were a lot of situations for me where I was able to jump in," said the 27-year-old Ehrhoff, who had 10 goals in his best season with the Sharks.

"I felt good and I had good legs so I tried to be up there every shift and help the forwards out a little bit."

Ehrhoff narrowly missed a third goal late in the game when his shot during a long shift hit the post with a lot of net exposed.

But Ehrhoff, who tops the Canucks with a plus-11 rating in even-strength situations, says he'd just as soon prevent scoring chances as create them.

"I want to be out there in tough situations when we are up by one goal in the last minute or killing penalties," he said. "I want to be that kind of guy, too, and take pride in that."

Vancouver went ahead to stay at 8:47 when Henrik Sedin gave his team its first lead of the game with his club-leading 13th goal of the season and fourth in two starts versus the Avalanche.

Dominant at home

Alex Burrows took a pass from Jannik Hansen below the faceoff circle but couldn't get a handle on the puck, so he spun around and found Sedin, who ripped a shot past Anderson.

Mikael Samuelsson rounded out the scoring for the Canucks, who improved to 8-2-0 on home ice this season and beat a divisional opponent for the sixth time in seven starts.

Colorado held a 2-0 advantage by the nine-minute mark of the first period on power-play goals by David Jones and rookie Matt Duchene, who has three points in two contests after a seven-game point drought.

Playing their fourth game in six nights, the Avalanche began Friday's action in a 3-for-43 funk with the man-advantage in their previous 12 games.

Jones struck for his eighth goal of the season at 4:06 when he tipped a Wojtek Wolski point shot past Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who made 22 saves and is 9-15-3 in his career against Colorado.

Duchene added to the lead four minutes later, tipping the puck over the goal-line after being knocked to the ice in the Canucks' crease.

Veteran Avalanche Adam Foote missed his second straight game with a jaw injury, but fellow defenceman John-Michael Liles notched two assists in his return from a shoulder injury.

The Canucks continue their five-game homestand on Sunday at 7 p.m. PT against Chicago, which opened a three-game trip through Western Canada with a 7-1 drubbing of Calgary on Thursday.

With files from The Canadian Press