NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Colorado
(Tuesday, March 4th)
Final Score: Colorado 2, Vancouver 1
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - John-Michael Liles' third-period goal proved to be the game-winner, as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, at Pepsi Center.
Paul Stastny also tallied for the Avalanche, who have won four straight, matching their season high (October 23 to November 1). Andrew Brunette collected two assists, while Jose Theodore stopped 26-of-27 shots to pick up his 20th win of the season.
Center Peter Forsberg made his long-awaited debut for Colorado, registering three shots in 19:57 of ice time.
"It's been a long time since I've played, but I thought we had a couple of chances, played pretty decent," Forsberg said. "Of course you want to get a goal or an assist, or whatever, but I'm just happy we won the game. That's all that matters right now."
Colorado has 76 points on the season and currently owns the seventh seed in the Western Conference. The Avalanche also pulled within three points of Minnesota and Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division.
Ryan Shannon scored the lone goal and Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for the Canucks, who are winless in their last four games overall (0-2-2).
"We've shown a lot of character all year long," Luongo said. "There's no bigger game than the next one. We have to make sure we regroup and get ready to play Thursday. We still control our own destiny so we have to make sure we win some games."
With the loss, Vancouver falls to ninth place in the Western Conference.
Liles' first tally since November 9 broke a 1-1 tie in the third period. With Henrik Sedin in the penalty box for hooking, Liles took a feed from Brunette and moved to the left point, where he unleashed a slap shot that deflected off the skate of a sliding Matt Pettinger up and over Luongo at the 2:27 mark.
Theodore made a blocker save on Markus Naslund in the dying seconds to preserve the win.
Colorado opened the scoring at the 9:12 mark of the first. Stastny skated down the left wing and snapped a wrister that beat Luongo high on the glove side for his 20th goal of the season.
The Avalanche controlled the play for most of the second frame, but defenseman Adam Foote was assessed a hooking minor with 2:03 to go and Vancouver capitalized on the power play. Sami Salo got a slapper through from the point and the puck caromed to Shannon, who was camped out at the side of the goal. Shannon quickly kicked the puck to his stick and deposited it in the back of the net with 62 seconds remaining.
Colorado forward Ryan Smyth is out indefinitely with a concussion and a minor shoulder separation. Forward Marek Svatos will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Both players sustained the injuries during the second period of Saturday's 5-2 win against Los Angeles...Colorado finished 1-for-5 on the power play. Vancouver went 1-for-4...Colorado hosts Anaheim on Thursday...Vancouver hosts Nashville on Thursday...Brunette extended his point streak to three games and has two goals and two assists.
03/05 00:57:08 ET