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game recap

Avalanche recover, top Canucks in shootout

Soderberg wins it in sixth round; Markstrom makes 43 saves for Vancouver

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

Soderberg's shootout winner

VAN@COL: Soderberg pots wrister to win shootout

Carl Soderberg skates in and rips a wrist shot past the glove of Jacob Markstrom to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win in the shootout

  • 01:03 •

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche moved into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 3-2 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Carl Soderberg won it in the sixth round of the shootout for the Avalanche, who are 1-1 in shootouts and 2-12 beyond regulation.

Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for Colorado (28-24-12), which is 5-0-1 in its past six games and is tied in points with the Minnesota Wild.


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Avalanche highlights]


"It's exciting to be in the playoffs, but all the teams around us, they're not just going to sleep, they're going to continue to play hard," said Varlamov, who is 30-15 in shootouts with a .750 save percentage, the third highest in NHL history (minimum 100 attempts). "Everybody's winning, so we got to keep winning the games and collect two points."

Josh Leivo and Antoine Roussel scored, and Jacob Markstrom made 43 saves for Vancouver (27-28-9), which is 3-6-3 in its past 12 games and five points behind the Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs in the West.

Video: VAN@COL: Markstrom denies Compher, Soderberg in order

"[Markstrom] gave us a heck of a game, especially in the first period," Canucks coach Travis Green said. "We weren't very good in the first. We got better in the second and a lot better in the third. You need good goaltending this time of the year. When you have key injuries like we do, you need it even more. He was a rock tonight."

MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 8:19 of the first period, scoring on a one-timer from above the left face-off dot off a cross-ice pass from Sven Andrighetto.

Roussel tied 1-1 at 9:13 on a redirection of Alex Biega's shot from the right point.

Rantanen scored to make it 2-1 at 18:26. After Gabriel Landeskog forced a turnover by Canucks forward Markus Granlund, he passed to Rantanen in the right circle for a one-timer short side on the power play.

Video: VAN@COL: Rantanen unleashes one-timer for PPG

Leivo tied it 2-2 with 3:02 left in the regulation, scoring on a one-timer through a screen from the high slot off a face-off.

"I liked our overall team game," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We were a little unfortunate not to come out of the first with a bigger lead, even in the second, and the next thing you know they make a nice face-off play at the end to tie it."

The Canucks thought Tanner Pearson scored at 2:08 of overtime, but it was ruled no goal by the referee. Green challenged the play, but the call was upheld after it was determined Pearson impaired Varlamov's ability to defend his goal after making the initial save.

"That's the way it goes sometimes," Pearson said "It would have been nice to have the extra point. I knocked it loose and got it behind him. I did everything I could to get it in."

Brock Boeser scored for Vancouver in the second round of the shootout and Rantanen scored for Colorado in the third round before Soderberg won it with a shot that hit Markstrom's glove and went in.

Video: VAN@COL: Rantanen nets backhander in shootout

"[Rantanen] scored high short side so I tried to do as him," Soderberg said. "[Varlamov] had some big saves and gave me a chance to score the game winner."

The shootout goal was the first for Soderberg in the NHL.

"It's a year of firsts for Carl," Bednar said. "He's having a career year. He deserves all the opportunities he's getting. He's playing a big man's game and is helping us in a lot of different ways on a nightly basis. A very consistent player for us."


They said it

"Anything can happen in this League. I know we're [five] points away from the playoffs, but we get three wins in a row and someone loses and we're right back in. We've just got to continue to work hard and get to that point." -- Canucks forward Nikolay Goldobin

"I have a lot of confidence in our team if we're going into a shootout because I like our shooters and I like our goaltender. To take it to a shootout is fine with me, I just want to make sure we're not giving up easy goals in overtime." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Varlamov has saved 114 of 152 shots in the shootout. Johan Hedberg (.752) and Mathieu Garon (.752) are the only goalies with a better save percentage. Varlamov is 5-2-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in his past nine starts. … Pearson played 14:31 in his Vancouver debut and had two shots on goal. … The Canucks went 0-for-5 on the power play and are 1-for-18 in their past five games … Rantanen has five points (three goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak.


What's next

Canucks: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, SNP, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the San Jose Sharks on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, ALT, NHL.TV)

Video: Avalanche defeat Canucks in shootout, 3-2

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