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Rapid Recap: Canucks 6, Avalanche 3

Colorado loses high-scoring affair to begin road trip

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--The Colorado Avalanche fought back from an early deficit but fell 6-3 at the Vancouver Canucks on Friday at Rogers Arena.

Troy Stecher and J.T. Miller scored the first two goals of the game for Vancouver, but Erik Johnson tallied for the Avs in the opening frame to make it a 2-1 contest at the first intermission. 

Each team scored twice in the middle stanza, with Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin tallying for Colorado and Zack MacEwen and Antoine Roussel notching markers for Vancouver. 

Landeskog's goal was his 20th of the season, the seventh time in his career that he has reached the 20-goal mark. He also added an assist in the game and is now on a seven-game point streak.

Johnson also had a helper in the contest, and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists to reach 90 points on the season.

The Canucks sealed the game late in the third period, as MacEwen added a second marker and Tanner Pearson buried an empty-net tally.

Colorado and Vancouver conclude their season series on Friday at Pepsi Center.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS 

1st Period
1:22 VAN (0-1) - Troy Stecher scored far side from the right circle after J.T. Miller dished the puck to him.
12:29 VAN (0-2) - J.T. Miller scored into an open part of the net on a 2-on-1 rush with Elias Pettersson.
13:17 COL (1-2) - Nathan MacKinnon skated the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it for Erik Johnson, who scored his third goal of the year.

2nd Period
2:12 VAN (1-3) - Zack MacEwen forced a turnover at the defensive zone blue line and scored on a breakaway.
3:23 COL (2-3) - Gabriel Landeskog cut toward the slot from the right circle and scored his 20th goal of the season. Nathan MacKinnon collected his 90th point of the year with an assist on the tally.
8:04 COL (3-3) - Valeri Nichushkin tied the game with a wrist shot after Matt Nieto found him for a breakout pass.
12:17 VAN (3-4) - Antoine Roussel regained the lead for Vancouver when he tipped a centering feed from Adam Gaudette into the net.

3rd Period
16:43 VAN (3-5) - Zack MacEwen knocked the puck in from the low slot after receiving a behind-the-net pass
17:24 VAN (3-6) - ENG, Tanner Pearson scored into the gaping net to seal the game.

Final: Canucks - 6 | Avalanche - 3

3 STARS

  1. Zack MacEwen (TRI): Scored twice
  2. J.T. Miller (VAN): Had a goal and an assist
  3. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Registered two assists

Selected by Sportsnet Pacific

POWER PLAYS 

Colorado: 0 for 3
Vancouver: 0 for 3

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Pavel Francouz started for the ninth time in the last 10 games and made 19 saves.
Vancouver: Thatcher Demko stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Gabriel Landeskog scored for the 20th time this season, reaching the mark for the seventh time in his career. He trails only Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk (both 11) for the most 20-goal campaigns in an Avalanche sweater.

Landeskog also added an assist to record his seventh multi-point game of the year and extend his point streak to a season-best seven games. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during this stretch

NOTEBOOK

Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists to reach the 90-point mark on the season. He is the first player in Avalanche history (since the team relocated to Denver) to post three consecutive seasons of 90 or more points. He and Peter Forsberg (1997-99) are the only ones to reach 90 in two straight campaigns… MacKinnon is just the third player in Avalanche history to reach 90 points prior to his 70th game on more than one occasion. Joe Sakic did it three times (1995-96, 61GP; 2000-01, 65 GP and 1998-99, 67 GP) and Peter Forsberg did it twice (1995-96, 60 GP and 2002-03, 67 GP)... Valeri Nichushkin scored his 13th goal of the year, one shy of tying his career best he set with the Dallas Stars in 2013-14… Erik Johnson scored and added an assist to register his fourth multi-point outing of the season, two of which have come in the last four games. He has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare turned 35 on Friday, the third straight game that an Avalanche player has celebrated a birthday after Michael Hutchinson turned 30 on Monday and Nichushkin turned 25 on Wednesday... It was the second of three meetings between Colorado and Vancouver this year. The Avs are now 1-1-0 in the season series, which will conclude at Pepsi Center next Friday... The Avs had their nine-game point streak (7-0-2) and franchise record nine-game road winning streak snapped… The Avalanche went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and has now not allowed a goal in 11 games, killing a season-high 27 straight short-handed situations. The 11 straight games without a power-play goals against equals the longest such streak in franchise history.

QUOTABLE

Head coach Jared Bednar on Colorado's scoring chances in the game: "We had some good chances for sure. We passed up the opportunity to shoot the puck though a little bit late in the game--I'm thinking of two or three plays. Nichushkin walking in, has an opportunity to shoot it and use their D as a screen, I think it was 4-on-4, we elected not to. We had Namestnikov and MacKinnon on a 2-on-1. I think we were scoring when we were shooting and then we just tried to make the one more play, especially when you are just trying to get that equalizer--it was 4-3 for them at the time on a few of those. And we get a nice chance from Nieto on a great pass from Johnson in the slot and it looked like he just misfired on it on the backhand. Those are just a handful. I thought we did a nice job creating scoring chances against a team that checked real hard tonight, even the first period after we fell behind 2-0 we started to come out a bit but its those defensive breakdowns that comeback to get us tonight."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: COL@VAN: Nichushkin nets wrist shot inside far post

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Fly Condor fly.

 

ROSTER REPORT

Forward Sheldon Dries and defenseman Kevin Connauton played their fourth and second games, respectively, of the season with the Avs after being recalled from the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles on Thursday… Pavel Francouz made his ninth start in 10 games… Nikita Zadorov was a healthy scratch.

INJURY UPDATE

Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky are both day-to-day and remain in Denver recovering from their injuries… Forwards Matt Calvert (lower body), Nazem Kadri (lower body) and Mikko Rantanen (upper body) and goaltender Philipp Grubauer (lower body) have started skating and are progressing from their ailments. They are all expected to return before the end of the season… Colin Wilson (lower body) continues to rehab and do off-ice training following two surgeries earlier this season.

UP NEXT

The Avs wrap up a stretch that has them playing eight-of-10 away from Pepsi Center with a back-to-back at the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and Monday. It is Colorado's 12th and final back-to-back of the season, and the team is 8-3-0 in the first contest and 7-4-1 in the second half of these sets.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game

Forwards

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 90 Vladislav Namestnikov
17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
81 Vladislav Kamenev - 15 Sheldon Dries - 25 Logan O'Connor

Defensemen

27 Ryan Graves - 49 Samuel Girard
28 Ian Cole - 6 Erik Johnson
7 Kevin Connauton - 44 Mark Barberio

Goaltenders

39 Pavel Francouz
35 Michael Hutchinson

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