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Avs Score Four In The First, Win 5-3 in Vancouver

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche scored four times in the first 13 minutes en route to a 5-3 victory over Vancouver that snapped the Canucks' perfect home record Thursday night.

Ian Laperriere, Joe Sakic, Marek Svatos and Antti Laaksonen scored first-period goals for Colorado, which has won six of seven, including three against Vancouver. Karlis Skrastins added a short-handed goal for the Avalanche, who moved two points behind the Northwest Division-leading Canucks despite playing two fewer games.

Ed Jovanovski, Todd Bertuzzi and Richard Park scored for the Canucks, who lost for the first time in eight home games. They have dropped five of seven overall.

It took 46 seconds for Laperriere to open the scoring after he was left alone at the side of the Vancouver net to bang in a backdoor pass from Andrew Brunette. A rebound bounced in off Sakic at 3:49, and Svatos made it 3-0 less than three minutes later on a 2-on-0 break with Steve Konowalchuk after Jovanovski gave the puck away, then fell down trying to recover.

The Avalanche registered the first 15 shots before Vancouver recorded its first with 7:15 left in the period, drawing mock cheers from the home crowd. That was all that Canucks fans had to applaud in the first as Laaksonen drove around Jovanovski and banked a shot in off Alex Auld at 12:51 to make it 4-0.

Vancouver turned the tables by outshooting Colorado 14-3 in the second.

Jovanovski scored a power-play goal 1:17 into the period, and Bertuzzi beat David Aebischer from the top of the slot midway through, prompting a Colorado timeout. But Aebischer made big saves off Markus Naslund and Henrik Sedin. Skrastins ended any suspense with a short-handed goal through traffic 7:57 into the third.

Park rounded out the scoring by ending a 10-game goal drought with 1:43 left.

Aebischer, who lost three of his first four games, finished with 25 saves to win his seventh-straight start. Auld also stopped 25 shots.

Game notes
The Canucks are 10-5-2, but all seven losses have come against division opponents. ... Vancouver had outscored opponents 30-16 at home. ... Colorado LW Andrew Brunette extended his point streak to six games. He has two goals and seven assists in that stretch. ... Canucks D Sven Butenschon took the place of Steve McCarthy (groin) after being called up from Manitoba of the AHL earlier in the day. ... Vancouver G Dan Cloutier dressed as Auld's backup, his first game since suffering a concussion against the Avalanche on Oct. 29.


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