NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Vancouver
(Wednesday, February 27th)
Final Score: Colorado 3, Vancouver 2 (SO)
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Joe Sakic tied the game with 15 second left in regulation and tallied the deciding goal in the shootout, as the revamped Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, in a critical Northwest Division clash at GM Place.
In the second round of the shootout, Sakic sold the forehand before pulling the puck to the backhand and lifting it over a fallen Roberto Luongo. Vancouver's Ryan Shannon then fired a shot off the butt-end of Jose Theodore's stick and Marek Svatos sealed the win when he snapped a wrister between the pads of Luongo.
Andrew Brunette also scored in regulation and Theodore stopped 29-of-31 shots for the Avalanche, who have won two straight and three of four overall.
"I think every time you're on the road, it's going to be tight hockey," said Theodore. "I think it's one of the first times this year that we actually scored with a couple of seconds left, so that's really good for the confidence. Those are the kind of plays that, at the end of the year, makes a big difference and tonight we showed a lot of character."
Center Peter Forsberg, who signed with Colorado on Monday, participated in his first practice Wednesday, however, there is no timetable on his return.
"I felt good on the ice," said Forsberg, who captured the Hart Trophy as league MVP while playing for the Avalanche in 2003. "I thought it was great for me to get out there and skate and get some sweat going and just start being ready here."
Mason Raymond and Alexandre Burrows lit the lamp for the Canucks, who had a season-high four-game winning streak broken. Luongo made 24 saves in the loss.
Colorado now has 72 points on the season and pulled into a tie with Nashville, which lost 8-4 at Buffalo on Wednesday, for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Vancouver sits in seventh place with 73 points.
In the latter stages of the third and the score locked at one, a mad scramble ensued in front of Theodore. Burrows, stationed to the right of a sprawled Theodore, poked in a loose puck, but it was inadvertently swept away from the goal line by Henrik Sedin and play continued. During the next stoppage, the play underwent a video review and the footage revealed that the puck did indeed cross the goal line. The goal came with 1:45 remaining.
In the final minute, Theodore raced to the bench in favor of an extra skater, and with time running out, Sakic netted his first goal since November 28. Newly acquired defenseman Ruslan Salei ripped a shot from the point and Sakic, who missed 38 games with a sports hernia, pounced on the loose puck. Luongo made a spectacular save with the left pad on Sakic's first attempt, but the captain collected the rebound and elevated a backhander over Luongo with 15 seconds remaining.
"What we can do is try and learn from the last mistakes there, keep moving ahead," said Canucks captain Markus Naslund. "I think the depth is there, and I think we're playing a pretty strong team game right now, unfortunately, we didn't win tonight."
After a scoreless opening period, Raymond put the Canucks on the board at 8:31 of the second. With the clubs skating at even strength, Shannon launched a shot from the left point that Raymond redirected in front with his right skate.
Brunette's 13th goal of the season knotted the score with one minute left in the frame. John-Michael Liles carried the puck into the offensive zone and dished to Svatos in the slot. Svatos stick-handled around several Vancouver players before feeding a wide-open Brunette at the left circle. Brunette accepted the pass, moved in on Luongo and backhanded the puck behind the fallen goaltender.
Colorado posted a 3-1-1 record on its five-game road trip. The Avalanche begin a four-game homestand on Saturday against Los Angeles...Vancouver hosts Columbus on Friday...During a first intermission promotion, Darwin Head, a 35- year-old sawmill worker from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, fired 15 out of 20 pucks, in a 24-second time limit, from the far blue-line to win a million dollars.
02/28 03:01:52 ET