NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Vancouver
(Tuesday, April 1st)
Final Score: Colorado 4, Vancouver 2
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Peter Forsberg had a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche scored four straight goals to roar past the Vancouver Canucks, 4-2, and clinch a playoff spot.
Forsberg's goal was his first since returning to the Avs in the beginning of March, and he now has 11 points in eight games this season.
"It's good to get the first goal," Forsberg said. "It's been a few games and it's definitely good for the confidence to get a goal especially now that we're going to the playoffs. It's just good for the confidence to finally get it going."
Milan Hejduk also notched a goal and a helper for the Avalanche, who won for the fourth time in five games. John-Michael Liles and Wojtek Wolski each tallied for the Avs, while Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette each added a pair of assists.
Jose Theodore made 27 saves to earn the win, as the Avs stayed one point ahead of Calgary for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.
"It feels good to be in the playoffs after missing it last year," Hejduk said. "It was a really disappointing year for us. We're used to playing a lot of playoff games, so it's fun to be back."
Willie Mitchell and Ryan Kesler each scored for the Canucks, who have lost five of six and sit one point behind Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with two games left. Robert Luongo allowed four goals on 20 shots, while Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each added an assist.
Trailing 2-0, Colorado's power play cashed in 9:13 into the second, as Sakic slipped a loose puck in the slot to Liles, who ripped a shot past Luongo to cut the lead in half.
Hejduk lit the lamp with 6:03 left in the second, taking a pass from Forsberg and firing a wrister through a screen and past Luongo to tie the game at 2-2. Just 35 seconds later, after Sakic's shot went wide and caromed off the end boards, Wolski tipped the bouncing puck into the net to give the Avs the lead.
"I think we played a first half where we played a really good game and then they got one and in a 10 minute span I think we kind of lost it for a little while," Luongo said. "And once you have a lead you have to protect it well."
The Avs took a 4-2 lead less than five minutes into the third, as Brunette found Forsberg streaking behind the defense, and Forsberg beat Luongo with a wrister high on the glove side.
Theodore stopped all 10 shots he saw in the final frame to preserve the two- goal win.
Mitchell put the Canucks on top at the 8:24 mark of the first, unloading a slap shot from the point that beat Theodore.
Luongo only had to stop five Colorado shots in the frame to maintain Vancouver's 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Canucks used the power play to extend the gap to 2-0 at the 5:50 mark of the second. Henrik Sedin controlled the puck behind the net and slipped a pass to Kesler, who jammed the puck past Theodore on his second opportunity.
Brunette's pair of assists gives him 40 for the season...Henrik Sedin notched his 61st helper of the year, while Daniel Sedin's assist was his 45th of the year...Vancouver is 1-1-0 on their four-game, season ending homestand, which finishes with games against Edmonton and Calgary...Colorado returns home Sunday to finish the season against Northwest Division-leading Minnesota, which sits two points ahead of Colorado.
04/02 01:32:25 ET