NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Colorado
(Wednesday, March 3rd)
Final Score: Vancouver 5, Colorado 5
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Joe Sakic registered his 14th career hat trick and Alex Tanguay tied a career-high with five points, helping Colorado skate to a 5-5 tie with the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center.
Tanguay had a say in all five Avalanche goals, scoring twice and assisting on all three tallies by Sakic, who also added a helper. Milan Hejduk had two assists to round out the scoring for the team's top unit, which combined for 11 points although Colorado's winless skid increased to five games (0-2-2-1).
"We wanted to outwork them tonight," said Tanguay. "When things are not going well, we find ways to dig ourselves a hole."
Vancouver received goals from five different players. Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison each notched a goal and two assists, while linemate Todd Bertuzzi assisted on a trio of goals.
"We went head to head with their top line and it made for a really entertaining game," Bertuzzi said.
The other three tallies were all scored by defensemen as Brent Sopel, Marek Malik and Mattias Ohlund lit the lamp for the Canucks, who saw a three-game win streak come to an end, but still remained unbeaten in four contests.
Colorado still leads Vancouver by one point for the Northwest Division lead.
Dan Cloutier turned aside 29 shots between the pipes for Vancouver in the stalemate, while Colorado's David Aebischer faced just 24 shots on the night, making 19 saves.
"I thought we battled real hard today," said Aebischer. "I am disappointed in the way I played. I did not make any big saves. There were two goals tonight that shouldn't have gone in and that was the difference."
Both teams had good scoring chances to take home the win in the extra frame.
After Rob Blake's wraparound attempt was stopped by Cloutier just over a minute in, Steve Konowalchuk had two chances from in close just 20 seconds later. His first shot was stopped, and the second was chipped wide by just a few inches.
About a minute later, Naslund missed the net from the left hash on a 3-on-1 rush after a feed by Bertuzzi.
Paul Kariya's blast with only 35 ticks remaining was gloved out of the air by Cloutier for his sixth save in the overtime period.
The Canucks did not have a shot on goal during the extra session.
Leading 4-3 after two, Tanguay's 24th goal re-established the two-goal margin just 1:20 into the third frame off a tremendous feed from Sakic on an odd-man rush.
But the Canucks would not go away quietly, recording a pair of goals 1:42 apart to break even.
Malik, standing at the left post, backhanded home the rebound of a shot off the stick of Morrison 6:08 in, and Naslund found Ohlund in the slot at 7:50 for the tying marker. With Tanguay in the box for tripping, Ohlund lingered behind the defense on the weak side, and Naslund sent over a cross-ice feed from the right circle for the easy tap-in.
"It was a great play by Markus," said Ohlund. "I just went to the net and found an opening."
Sakic scored twice in an eight-minute span in the opening stanza to stake the Avalanche to a 2-0 lead.
On the first, Tanguay dropped the puck back between his legs to Sakic, who wristed one low to the stick side behind Cloutier from the slot. He netted his 27th of the season with 8:58 left when he skated out from the right boards and beat Cloutier from the right circle.
Vancouver, down a man, answered just 3:05 later when Morrison skated down the right wing and fired a shot against the grain that went over the blocker of Aebischer inside the left post.
Sopel's ninth, on a wrister from the right hash with 1:20 left in the first, evened the score at 2-2.
After Colorado received an early second-period goal from Tanguay when Travis Brigley found him all alone on the doorstep, Sakic completed the trick off a splendid feed from John-Michael Liles. Liles faked a shot and passed it over to Sakic, who deftly angled his stick blade to roof the puck over Cloutier 8:19 in to make it 4-2.
Naslund netted his 31st of the campaign with just 54 ticks left in the stanza to pull Vancouver within one heading into the third period.
Tanguay's other five-point performance (2g, 3a) also came against Vancouver on January 18, 2001...It was Sakic's second hat trick of the season...The teams combined for 18 minor penalties...Colorado was 1-for-8 on the power play while the Canucks scored once in six chances with the extra skater.
03/04 01:18:23 ET