VAN
51-22-9
COL
41-35-6
OT
32 SOG
40 SOG

Canucks 3, Avalanche 2, OT

Associated Press | Sunday, 03.25.2012 / 1:12 AM

DENVER (AP) - Chris Higgins had two goals, including the winner at 1:40 of overtime, and Vancouver rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Saturday night as the Canucks wrapped up their fourth straight Northwest Division crown.

Mason Raymond also scored and Roberto Luongo stopped 38 shots.

Before the game, the Canucks clinched the division title courtesy of Calgary's loss to Dallas. They also closed the gap on St. Louis in the race for the top seed in the conference, climbing to within two points of the Blues.

Gabriel Landeskog and Jamie McGinn scored for the Avalanche, who have earned at least a point in nine of their last 11 games to remain in the thick of the playoff chase.

On the game-winning play, Jannik Hansen outraced defenseman Tyson Barrie to the puck in the corner and fed a wide open Higgins, who lined it past Semyon Varlamov.

Luongo shined in net all night as the Canucks improved to 5-0 against Colorado this season.

Vancouver was without Daniel Sedin for a second straight game with concussion-like symptoms.

The star forward was hurt when Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith lunged at Sedin in the neutral zone in the first period of Chicago's 2-1 overtime victory last Wednesday, catching Sedin in the head with his elbow. Keith was suspended for five games by the NHL.

The Avalanche begin a pivotal road stretch as they travel to San Jose, Vancouver and Calgary over a five-day stretch.

Matt Duchene had a solid scoring chance late in the third period as he gobbled up a rebound and glided in on Luongo, only to fan on the shot.

Varlamov showed he's an adept passer as he set up the Avalanche's second goal. With the Canucks making a line change, the young Russian goalie sent a long outlet pass to Paul Stastny, who dished it over to McGinn and he took it from there, scoring his 20th goal of the season.

When Varlamov's name was announced for the assist, the capacity crowd roared.

Soon after, Vancouver came roaring back from the 2-0 deficit as the Canucks figured out a little flaw in Varlamov's game - the high shot.

Raymond and Higgins both went high to beat Varlamov.

Colorado's penalty kill unit was in fine working order early in the game, as the team weathered one power play after another.

Near the end of the first period, David Jones was called for a double-minor after his stick hit Kevin Bieksa in the face and drew blood. The Avs bottled up the Canucks for the rest of the period and then the opening 1:34 to start the second period.

This after surviving a 5-on-3 opportunity by Vancouver for more than a minute in the middle of the first period. A few kick saves from Varlamov and three blocked shots with the body by Ryan O'Byrne helped the Avs maintain their lead.

Colorado scored early in the first period on a rare power-play opportunity when Hejduk's shot ricocheted off the pads of Luongo and a hustling Landeskog slapped it in. Colorado averages just 2.7 power plays a game, the fewest in the league.

Landeskog is making a strong case for the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the top rookie. He leads all first-year players in goals, shots and takeaways.

Chuck Kobasew made his return to the lineup after sitting out nearly a month with a sore back. It didn't take long for him to get reacquainted with the action as he decked Aaron Rome in retaliation for the defenseman's earlier hit on Tyson Barrie. That led to a brief skirmish between Kobasew and a couple of Canucks players.

Luongo came up big often in the opening period as he turned back 16 of 17 shots, including a glove save on a backhanded attempt from Ryan O'Reilly.

Notes: Avalanche D Erik Johnson missed a third straight game with a balky back. ... Hejduk has 68 points in 77 career games against the Canucks, his most against one opponent. ... With two assists, Bieksa has a career-high 34.

1st2nd3rdOTT
VAN
COL
Scoring Summary
1st Period
01:13COL PPG - Gabriel Landeskog (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Milan Hejduk (23), Steve Downie (27) 1 - 0 COL
2nd Period
11:01COL PPG - Jamie McGinn (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Stastny (31), Semyon Varlamov (1) 2 - 0 COL
15:55VAN PPG - Mason Raymond (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Sami Salo (15), Henrik Sedin (60) 2 - 1 COL
17:30VAN Chris Higgins (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Samuel Pahlsson (12), Kevin Bieksa (33) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
NONE
OT Period
01:40VAN Chris Higgins (15) Snap shot - ASST: Jannik Hansen (20), Kevin Bieksa (34) 3 - 2 VAN
Three Stars of the Game
Chris Higgins
1st
Chris Higgins
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 17:40
Jamie McGinn
2nd
Jamie McGinn
LW
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 17:39
Gabriel Landeskog
3rd
Gabriel Landeskog
LW
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 22:44
Penalty Summary
1st Period
00:36VAN Dale Weise  Too many men/ice - bench
06:34VAN Aaron Rome  Roughing against  Chuck Kobasew
06:34COL Chuck Kobasew  Charging against  Aaron Rome
07:24VAN Kevin Bieksa  Hooking against  David Jones
11:01COL Jan Hejda  Tripping against  David Booth
11:46COL David Jones  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
15:42VAN Samuel Pahlsson  Holding the stick against  Mark Olver
17:35COL David Jones  Hi stick - double minor against  Kevin Bieksa
2nd Period
10:23VAN Sami Salo  Interference against  Steve Downie
13:17VAN Alexandre Burrows  Roughing against  Mark Olver
14:08COL David Jones  Holding against  Ryan Kesler
3rd Period
06:23VAN Samuel Pahlsson  Hooking against  Milan Hejduk
OT Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodVANCOL
1st817
2nd1411
3rd912
OT10
Total3240
Team Stats
CategoryVANCOL
Power Plays1/52/6
Hits2224
Faceoff Wins3236
Giveaways311
Takeaways710
Blocked Shots2418
Penalty Minutes1412
  • VANCOUVER
  • COLORADO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2D. HamhuisD0002026:10
3K. BieksaD0211226:44
6S. SaloD0102219:51
7D. BoothL0001013:59
8C. TanevD0012017:54
9Z. KassianR000009:50
14A. BurrowsR0003218:52
17R. KeslerC0005019:06
20C. HigginsL2022017:40
21M. RaymondL1006019:18
23A. EdlerD0021028:24
26S. PahlssonC0111413:04
27M. MalhotraC000009:23
29A. RomeD000022:52
32D. WeiseR000107:26
33H. SedinC0102018:58
36J. HansenR0121016:08
40M. LapierreC000209:46
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1R. Luongo3840.95061:40
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3R. O'ByrneD00-11020:27
5S. O'BrienD0000015:34
8J. HejdaD00-10221:01
9M. DucheneC0007014:57
11J. McGinnL1004017:39
16J. McClementC000009:11
17C. KobasewR000126:33
22M. HunwickD00-10021:37
23M. HejdukR0104014:16
26P. StastnyC01-14019:31
27S. DownieR01-13017:29
37R. O'ReillyC00-11022:55
40M. OlverC0002011:09
41T. BarrieD00-11018:32
44R. WilsonD0002018:04
54D. JonesR00-14818:44
55C. McLeodL000104:32
92G. LandeskogL10-15022:44
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
1S. Varlamov2932.90661:38