Burrows missed Vancouver's previous game with a groin injury, but scored two goals 17 seconds apart in the third period to lead the Canucks to a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.
Burrows was healthy enough to play Saturday, but with extra forwards available, Canucks coach Willie Desjardins decided to give the 33-year-old a couple of extra days off.
"Burr took a little bit of time off and it paid off today. It paid off big," Desjardins said. "If we have guys banged up a little bit, and even if we don't, guys can use it to get the rest they need so they can come back fresher. It's really disappointing when you're not going to get to play, but I think if we use it right it can help us down the stretch."
Burrows took the place of Zack Kassian, who was injured during the morning skate, and put the Canucks ahead to stay on a wrist shot through goaltender Steve Mason's legs off the rush 6:44 into the third period.
It was Burrows' first goal in 11 games, covering more than a month; he didn't need long to add another one.
On the next shift, Mason stopped Daniel Sedin on another rush, but the rebound bounced right to Burrows on the far side and he slid his 14th goal of the season into a wide-open net.
"The first one I completely missed it," Burrows said. "It found a way to go five-hole, and the other one was a just a good rebound."
After spending most of the season apart from his old linemates, Burrows said it was nice to be back with the Sedins and back on the scoresheet.
"It's been a long time, for sure," he said. "I wanted to make some plays and get some offence. Lucky enough the twins are great players and they were able to find some open space, find me in shooting areas."
Defenseman Alexander Edler scored in the second period to get Vancouver even at 1-1, and Radim Vrbata scored into an empty net with 10 seconds left for the Canucks (40-25-4), who have won four of their past five. Eddie Lack made 27 saves for Vancouver, which moved three points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division.
"There was a couple real big saves in there," Desjardins said of Lack's performance. "He saved us. They have a high-offensive machine and if they get a couple they'll get excited."
Michael Raffl opened the scoring midway through the second period and Mason made 32 saves for the Flyers (29-28-15), who have one win in their past seven games and nine on the road all season, the fourth-fewest in the NHL.
"We haven't got it done on the road and that's why we are in the position we are," said Mason, who has one win in 18 road games. "It's something we have to address."
So is the letdown after Burrows' first goal.
"We make a couple mistakes and they take advantage of it," Raffl said. "You can't do that on the road, especially against a team like this. It comes down to two bad shifts, two bounces they take advantage of right away. That's what a good team does."
The game was preceded by a ceremony to honor the late Pat Quinn, who coached the Flyers and was coach, general manager and president of the Canucks.
"The Pat Quinn ceremony definitely got us going," Lack said.
Philadelphia opened the scoring just after the midway point of the second period.
With top-line right wing Jakub Voracek in the penalty box after a rare but spirited fight with Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis, Wayne Simmonds took his spot alongside Claude Giroux and Raffl and set up the first goal. Simmonds shook a check in the corner before passing cross-ice to Giroux inside the left circle; Giroux held the puck briefly before sending the puck back the other way for Raffl to tip past Lack from the top of the crease.
Voracek, who is fifth in NHL scoring with 69 points, downplayed sparking the team with his fight.
"I got hooked, I cross-checked him, emotional game, it happens," said Voracek, who had a welt over his left eye. "It was a square fight, we moved on right after."
Told he got in some good punches, Voracek said, "He got me pretty good too. It was a good one."
Edler tied it a little less than four minutes later after a nice play by center Brad Richardson at the side of the net. Richardson used the heel of his skate to redirect Derek Dorsett's centering pass through the crease to Edler, who waited patiently before lifting a backhand shot up and over a prone Mason from a sharp angle.
Each goaltender made a handful of great saves, and each got a break when the opposition hit the post on a good chance.
Lack made his best save with his glove when he stopped Nick Cousins, who was making his NHL debut, alone in the low slot with six minutes left in the second period. Vancouver tied the game 30 seconds later.
"[I was] just trying to shoot it over his glove, but he made a pretty good save," Cousins said.
Mason made a great stop off Bo Horvat late in the second period and stopped Shawn Matthias two minutes into the third. His best save was a gloved robbery of Vrbata from in close 5:30 into the third; however, Burrows, who also missed six games through early March, put Vancouver ahead to stay just over a minute later.
"I needed to make the save there and unfortunately he made the shot through the five-hole," Mason said, adding it "kind of looked like" the shot hit a stick. "Regardless you have to make the save."
Flyers coach Craig Berube seemed to agree.
"Second goal I'm sure [Mason] would like it back but we find a way to lose the game rather than win," Berube said. "We out-chanced them."