Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

Luongo Backstops Canucks To First Win Over Avs

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Taylor Pyatt scored the go-ahead goal on a power play in the third period and Roberto Luongo made 40 saves, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

Daniel Sedin also had a power-play tally for the Canucks, who scored more than one goal for the first time in five games and won for the second time in that stretch (2-3).

Luongo was the difference for the Canucks, who were outshot 41-24 and held under three goals for the 13th time in 15 games.

John-Michael Liles tied the game four minutes into the third period for Colorado, but Brad Richardson took a hooking penalty two minutes later. Pyatt stationed himself in front and deflected Mattias Ohlund's point shot past Peter Budaj at 7:36.

Pyatt's first goal in nine games gave the Canucks their first win in four games this season against their Northwest Division rivals.

It came after Colorado goalie Jose Theodore, who won the first three meetings, was forced to leave the game after the first period with a hip injury.

Theodore, who came in with a .947 save percentage against the Canucks this season, wasn't busy in the first period. He made the toughest of his six saves during a flurry in the final minute. He wasn't visibly injured when the period ended, but Peter Budaj was in net to start the second frame. Theodore stayed on the bench and the team announced that a hip injury would keep him out the rest of the game.

Budaj was sharp early before Vancouver's power play, ranked last in the NHL at home, finally got on the board against the Avalanche's 26th-ranked penalty kill.

After the Canucks failed to record a shot through 52 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, Sedin tapped a rebound of Sami Salo's shot from the point in between the legs of a sliding Budaj. It was the first goal in 11 games for Sedin, and the first in five for the Canucks' power-play unit that had failed on 15 straight chances.

Luongo was sharp early as the Avs outshot Vancouver 13-2 through the first 14 minutes. He made a couple of great saves on Joe Sakic's wrist shots and got a break when Milan Hejduk sent the puck through the crease with an empty net in front of him.

Liles finally converted the 33rd shot after getting in alone behind the Vancouver defense, but Luongo made the final eight saves to record his first win in eight career games against Colorado.

Vancouver had an early goal disallowed after a video review showed that Markus Naslund kicked the puck past Theodore.

Budaj finished with 16 saves for Colorado, which lost for the third time in eight games.

Notes: Vancouver's second win in nine games (2-6-1) within the Northwest moved them into third place. The difference between first and last is two points. ... D Jordan Leopold, acquired from Calgary last summer, played his first game for Colorado after offseason hernia surgery. Veteran D Patrice Brisebois was scratched.
View More