NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Vancouver
(Sunday, April 5th)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Vancouver 1
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - T.J. Galiardi scored twice to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a rare win in a 4-1 final against the sliding Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.
Ben Guite and Milan Hejduk also scored for the Avalanche, who are last in the Western Conference, having lost eight straight games coming in. It was the club's longest skid since the Quebec Nordiques also lost eight in a row during the 1991-92 season. Peter Budaj made 20 saves in the win.
Pavol Demitra had the lone goal for Vancouver, which couldn't avoid a third straight loss in its ongoing battle for the Northwest Division title with Calgary. Roberto Luongo made 22 saves in defeat.
With 94 points, Vancouver has clinched a playoff berth and is tied with Calgary for first place in the Northwest. The Canucks have three to play and none is bigger than Tuesday' showdown with the Flames at GM Place. Calgary has four to play and as a result of their higher win total (44), currently rests ahead of the Canucks in the standings.
In addition, the Canucks' recent skid has allowed the club to fall three points behind Chicago for the fourth seed in the Western Conference following the 'Hawks win against Columbus earlier Sunday.
It was all Avs from the start as the normally potent Canucks offense seemed stagnant. Galiardi got his first of the game 7:32 into the first on a one- timer set up by Hejduk.
Colorado cycled the puck down low and Wojtek Wolski backhanded the puck from the left corner back to Guite at the left circle for a quick shot that beat Luongo along the ice to make it 2-0 at 7:44 of the second.
The Canucks Kevin Bieksa coughed up the puck right in front of Luongo and Hejduk capitalized to make it 3-0 4:59 into the third. Galiardi netted his second of the game at the left side of the net off a pretty backhand pass from Hejduk with 7:56 remaining.
Demitra finally solved Budaj a little more than three minutes later but that's all Vancouver would get.
The Canucks are 22-12-5 as the host this year and kicked off a three-game homestand with the loss. Anaheim halted Vancouver's franchise-record home winning streak at 11 consecutive games on Thursday...The Avs took a 3-2 lead in the season series and will host the Canucks when the clubs meet for the final time this season on Saturday...The Avalanche will have to play out their season without veteran forward Ryan Smyth, who suffered a fractured right hand in Wednesday's loss. Smyth is the team's leading scorer with 26 goals and 59 points in 77 games this season.
04/06 01:14:07 ET