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Canucks storm back to beat Avalanche 5-2

by John Kreiser /

The Vancouver Canucks have the Colorado Avalanche's number

Six days after routing the Avs 8-2 in Denver, the Canucks spotted Colorado a two-goal lead, then roared back with five unanswered goals for a 5-2 victory on Friday night. Henrik Sedin, who had a hat trick last Saturday, scored the tie-breaking goal 8:47 into the third period, burying Alex Burrows' centering pass for his 13th of the season.

Steve Bernier and Mikael Samuelsson added insurance goals and Christian Ehrhoff scored twice as the Canucks beat Colorado for the third straight time after being blanked 3-0 on Oct. 3 in Denver.

The Avs, now 13-7-3 after a 10-1-2 start, blew a two-goal lead for the second game in a row. They led 4-2 in Edmonton on Wednesday before losing 6-4.

Vancouver hadn't played since the win over the Avs last Saturday, and the Canucks may have been a little rusty at the start.

The game started off well for Colorado. David Jones and Matt Duchene gave the Avs a 2-0 with 8:39 gone in the opening period by scoring power play goals. Jones tipped John-Michael Liles' point shot behind goalie Roberto Luongo for his eighth goal of the season and third in six games at 4:06, and Duchene tapped in a rebound at 8:39.

"They got two power play goals, but I thought both those penalties were soft penalties and they capitalized on them," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "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."

The Canucks, playing the opener of a five-game homestand, capitalized on their first man advantage when Ehrhoff took advantage of Bernier's screen to fire a point shot past Craig Anderson at 4:22 of the second period.

They tied it 5:12 into the third when Mason Raymond dug the puck out from behind the net and Ehrhoff who had jumped into the play, for a shot from the slot past Anderson..

"Ehrhoff had an incredible game tonight," fellow defenseman Mathieu Schneider said. "Everything was clicking for him."

With one team rested and the other playing its third game in four nights on the road, Vigneault said his club wore down the Avs in the third period.

"Playing three games in four nights on the road with the travel is never easy," he said. "I think our speed showed up real well in the third period. We found a way to come back in a League where it's not easy to come back."

Avalanche coach Joe Sacco wasn't buying fatigue as an excuse. He said his team needs to learn keep pressing after building a two-goal lead.

"It's a mindset right now more than anything, Sacco said. "You can't sit back in this league, and that's two games in a row now where we've had leads in the third period and we get on our heels.

Anderson, pulled after giving up four goals in Saturday's loss to Vancouver, made 23 saves as the Avalanche fell to 1-4-1 in their last six games.

"We just slept in the third and made key turnovers that led to their goals," said Anderson, who had a cut lip and a suture over his eye after taking a stick in the mask. "We've got to figure out what's going on, and figure out how to play with the lead. Once we figure out how to play with the lead, we'll be all right."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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