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Game 75: Costly blow

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks have dealt their fair share of crushing blows to the Avalanche over the past few years. On Thursday, the Avs turned the tables and handed the Canucks what could be their costliest defeat of the season.

Tyson Barrie scored 55 seconds into the overtime session to lift the Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the Canucks at the Pepsi Center.

Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avs in regulation while Yannick Weber and the red-hot Zack Kassian had the goals for the Canucks, who had their three-game win streak come to an end.

The loss, coupled with the Coyotes win over the Devils also on Thursday, meant the Canucks actually lost ground in the race for a playoff spot despite earning a point. Vancouver now sits five points back of eighth-place Phoenix with the Coyotes holding a game-in-hand.

Barrie's goal came on Colorado's only shot of the extra frame as he managed to muscle his way to the front of the goal crease and tip a perfect pass from Duchene up and over the glove of Canucks' netminder Eddie Lack.

Vancouver actually got the early jump on Thursday opening the scoring on the power play with Weber sneaking in from the point and one-timing a nifty blind drop pass from rookie Nicklas Jensen past Avs' netminder Semyon Varlamov at 10:50 of the opening frame.

Duchene would equalize less than five minutes after the Weber marker and Landeskog would give the Avs the lead just shy of the midway point of the second period but the Canucks would pull even with just 82 seconds left in the middle frame when a Dan Hamhuis point shot took a fortuitous bounce and found its way to Kassian who managed to kick the puck from his skate to his stick and poke it past Varlamov setting the stage for the overtime.

Vancouver probably would not have been in a position to even collect a single point had it not been for the efforts of Lack who was solid despite the loss. He turned aside 25 of 28 shots, including helping Vancouver fend off a couple of third period Colorado power plays.

Varlamov made 29 saves on 31 shots to notch his first career victory against the Canucks.

The Canucks will begin their final extended home stand of the season on Saturday when they host the Anaheim Ducks.

Zack Kassian extended his point streak to a career-high tying three-games (2-4-6)... David Booth extended his point streak to three games 3-1-4)... Avs' goaltender Semyon Varlmov improved to 1-7-1 in his career against the Canucks... The Avs improved to 25-4-6 in one-goal games... Tom Sestito became the first Canuck to eclipse the 200-point penalty minute mark in one season since Donald Brashear did it in 1998.99 with 209 PIMs. Sestito now has a league-leading 201 penalty minutes.

BLEAK OUTLOOK: The Canucks began the night four points out of a playoff spot but watched that margin increase to five points with Phoenix knocking off New Jersey on Thursday. With just seven games remaining, Vancouver can reach at best 93 points if they run the table. That means they'll need two of the following three scenarios to occur in addition to them winning all seven of their remaining games: Minnesota earns seven or fewer points in their last eight games, Phoenix earns eight or fewer points in their last eight games, and Dallas earns 13 or fewer points in their last 10 remaining games.

MR. 800 TIMES TWO: It took a lot longer than he wanted but Daniel Sedin finally became just the second Canuck to reach the 800-point mark joining brother, Henrik Sedin, with his first period assist on Yannick Weber's goal. Daniel notched the point in his 972nd career game. When Henrik notched his 800th career point earlier this season on October 15 in a game against the Flyers, it came in his 947th career game at the time.

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