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Canucks beat Avs again

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 5-2 win over Colorado.

…Steve Bernier tipped in a nifty pass from Christian Ehroff to the right of Colorado netminder Craig Anderson with 8:21 remaining in the third period.

Bernier’s seventh tally of the season, a power play marker, was made possible by the stick work of Ehrhoff who displayed great patience with the puck from just inside the Avalanche blueline. With two goals already to his name, Ehrhoff forced Colorado to respect his shot and he turned that against them with several fake blasts before sifting a pass Bernier’s way. That score put the Canucks up 4-2; at that point they had rallied with four consecutive goals after giving up a two goal lead in the first period.

Henrik Sedin had Vancouver’s third goal, the game-winner, while Mikae Samuelsson capped off a courageous comeback effort with the fifth Canucks goal late in the third.

Roberto Luongo had 22 saves in net for the Canucks in their third straight home victory.

Another dominating win over Colorado didn’t look to be in the cards until Christian Ehrhoff, or Bobby Hoff as his teammates are calling him, scored a pair to give Vancouver new life.

Ehrhoff first goal was Vancouver’s first, he put the Canucks on the board with a rocket Craig Anderson is still looking for. His second came off a similar shot, although this time it skidded along the ice and found the inside of the right post. Goals four and five on the season were both as timely as they come.

More than just a scorer, Ehrhoff set up Bernier for an insurance goal before throwing his hat in the ring for the trifecta. His third shot of the game rang off the iron and stayed out leaving Ehrhoff without an NHL hat trick. The last three goal game by a Canucks defenceman came on November 22, 1991 courtesy of Dave Babych in a 6-5 overtime win over Calgary.

Ehrhoff did manage to set a new career high for goals in a game and he tied his career high for points in a game at 3.

In this gutsy comeback there were more than one hero as three players stepped up their game to ensure a Canucks win.

Mikael Samuelsson gets top billing for his first three point game of the season, he had a goal and two helpers and was one of five Canucks at plus-2.

Jannik Hansen deserves a shout out for helping set up Hank’s game-winning goal. The assist was his third point in as many games since returning from injury.

Alex Burrows doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head, as far as I know, but he did when he fooled the Avalanche and sent a smooth pass to Henrik Sedin for the game-winning goal.

Kyle Wellwood started Vancouver’s scoring domino effect as he won the draw that led to Ehrhoff’s first goal. His first point in nine games doubled his season output thus far, he now has two points on the year.

Wellwood was more noticeable than usual on this night as he nearly scored his first goal of the season in the third period and went 12-for-16 on draws.

Coach Alain Vigneault’s take on his team’s come-from-behind win:

”I didn’t mind our first period five-on-five, I thought guys came out with a lot of energy, our Ds were involved in the play. They got two power play goals but I thought both those penalties were soft penalties and they capitalized on them. After the first period we just talked about sticking with the process and plugging away, and that’s what we did. We won the second period and then we won the third.”

After destroying the Avalanche 13-4 over the last two games, the suddenly high-octane Canucks have Saturday to rest up before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Despite Willie Mitchell’s smackdown on Jonathan Toews being completely clean and legal, the Blackhawks will no doubt be out for a little revenge so this game could get ugly.

NUMB3RS

1 – Point for Kyle Wellwood, he now has two on the season.

3 – Points each for Christian Ehrhoff and Mikael Samuelsson.

5 – Unanswered goals by the Canucks.

22 – Saves for Roberto Luongo; 14 over the final two periods.

QUOTABLE
“I guess I got lucky on two shots there. I tried for it, but I couldn’t put it away. I had enough chances for the hat trick, but I couldn’t finish it off.“

-
Christian Ehrhoff

"That was a trouble start, we gave up two goals and weren’t too happy about that, but we stuck with it and Bobby Hoff took care of the rest."

-Roberto Luongo

"Ehrhoff had an incredible game tonight, everything was clicking for him, great shots and that last tip goal was just a great heads up play."

-Mathieu Schneider
OFFENCE

The Canucks outshot the Avalanche 12-10 in the opening frame, but it wasn't until the second period that the shots really got dangerous.

Once Vancouver's snippers found their legs this became a completely different game, one Colorado couldn't compete in.

DEFENCE

You know something is going right when Vancouver's biggest threat offensively is a defender. Ehrhoff not only scored, he shut down Colorado's shooters and helped the team shut the door over all after a pair of quick power play goals early.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Both teams used the power play to their advantage going 2-for-4.

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