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Canucks continue homestand against Avalanche

by Brian Compton

AVALANCHE (20-7-0) at CANUCKS (16-10-5)


Last 10: Colorado 6-4-0; Vancouver 5-3-2

Season series: This is the first of three games between the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks. They won't face each other again until March 27 at Pepsi Center.

Big story: Colorado concludes its three-game trip through Western Canada at Rogers Arena with hopes of securing a second victory. Vancouver is playing the second of a five-game homestand; with three consecutive wins, the Canucks are climbing the Pacific Division standings and have moved into a tie for fourth place with the Phoenix Coyotes at 37 points.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado brushed off an 8-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday by earning a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday. Maxime Talbot, PA Parenteau and Nathan MacKinnon scored, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 saves for the Avalanche, who improved to 17-0-0 when leading after two periods.

"It was very important," Giguere said. "We needed to respond the right way, show everybody that we're human, the same as anyone else. We might lose some games where we didn't play well, but we're able to bounce back the next game."

Canucks: Vancouver nearly let another blown lead on home ice turn into a loss, but Chris Higgins scored 3:41 into overtime to give the Canucks a 3-2 win against Phoenix at Rogers Arena on Friday.

Jason Garrison and Henrik Sedin scored in the second period to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead, but Antoine Vermette and David Moss scored 2:21 apart midway through a third period that saw Phoenix outshoot the Canucks 18-8.

The Canucks also blew four leads in the third period while only winning one game during a recent six-game homestand.

"We found a way to win the game, but I thought we [gave] away a point to a team we are chasing," coach John Tortorella said. "We have to get out of this situation of not finishing games because we are going nowhere until we do."

Who's hot: Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists). Right wing PA Parenteau has goals in back-to-back games. … Vancouver's Daniel Sedin had two assists Friday. He has two goals and four assists in the past five games.

Injury report: Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda will miss 10-14 days with a knee strain. He sustained the injury Thursday against Edmonton. The Avalanche are also expected to be without defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) and forward Alex Tanguay (knee). … Vancouver forward Jordan Schroeder (ankle) is out.

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