DENVER -- All it took was a one-game benching to motivate Wojtek Wolski and make Colorado Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville happy with the results after keeping the rookie left winger off the ice.
"Consider the message received," Quenneville said. "I saw better overall play from him and it extended to his line."
Wolski had a goal and three assists and Colorado Avalanche's third line produced three goals in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
"I was upset with myself that I didn't play the last game," said Wolski, a healthy scratch in Colorado's last game against Anaheim for less than satisfying play. "I think you have to take it as information you want to use to get better and to learn from."
"I think I did that," Wolski said.
Linemates Mark Rycroft and Paul Stastny also scored goals, and Brett Clark added a power-play goal with 35 seconds to play.
"I think Wolski and I had a little chemistry going again," Stastny said. "Our confidence had been shaken the last couple of games."
Colorado also received a solid effort from Jose Theodore, who stopped 27 shots for Colorado, winners of four of five.
"That was as important as anything tonight," Quenneville said. "Jose stood tall when we needed it."
The Avalanche were 2-for-7 on the power play.
Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks. Goaltender Robert Luongo made 35 saves. He had won his previous three starts.
"Our last two games have all been about two things - our inability to make the other team pay on their mistakes and their ability to make us pay when we make a mistake," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "This is a game of mistakes.
"Right now we're not capable of finishing when we do get the opportunity and the other team is."
Theodore had to make a save on a breakaway by Alexander Burrows in the final three minutes with Vancouver short-handed.
The Canucks made it 2-1, 35 seconds into the third period on Bieksa's fourth goal of the year. Bieksa sent a slap shot through a screen from the right point past Theodore, and Vancouver had the Avalanche on their heels in the early minutes of the period.
Wolski restored Colorado's two-goal lead with a power-play goal at 7:29, sending a shot back into the net after Luongo had stopped an attempt by Patrice Brisbois from the right point.
The Canucks generated more scoring chances in the first period, but trailed 2-0. Brendan Morrison missed an open net at 6:20 and Theodore made saves on Matt Cooke and Ryan Kesler before Colorado's third line produced two goals.
Wolski fed Rycroft at the last instant on a 2-on-1. Rycroft poked the puck past Luongo at 11:25 of the period for his second goal of the year.
Wolski stole the puck behind the net from Willie Mitchell and found Stastny in the slot for a one-timer at 17:45.
Vancouver failed to capitalize on two power plays in the first six minutes of a scoreless second period. The Canucks had no shots when Rycroft drew the extra penalty for boarding when he and Cooke drew roughing penalties.
Theodore smothered a point-blank shot by Markus Naslund with Andrew Brunette off for hooking. Theodore made a glove save on Cooke's slap shot from the right circle late in the period.
"You aren't going to win many games when you don't give yourself a chance to win," Naslund said. "It was tough for us starting out the last two games being down 2-0."
|Colorado (11-10-2) «||2||0||2||4|
Save Pct.: .966
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|11:25||Mark Rycroft (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Wojtek Wolski, Paul Stastny|
|17:45||Paul Stastny (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Wojtek Wolski, Cody McCormick|
|00:35||Kevin Bieksa (4), Slap Shot - Assists: Markus Naslund, Henrik Sedin|
|07:29||Power Play - Wojtek Wolski (6), Tip-In - Assists: Patrice Brisebois, Paul Stastny|
|19:25||Power Play - Brett Clark, Slap Shot - Assists: Wojtek Wolski, John-Michael Liles|
|03:46||Kesler: Tripping - 2 min.|
|08:56||Santala: Roughing - 2 min.|
|08:56||McCormick: Roughing - 2 min.|
|12:43||Edler: Hooking - 2 min.|
|02:20||Cooke: Roughing - 2 min.|
|02:20||Rycroft: Roughing - 2 min.|
|02:20||Rycroft: Boarding - 2 min.|
|05:10||Brunette: Hooking - 2 min.|
|13:32||Green: Slashing - 2 min.|
|06:12||Santala: Hooking - 2 min.|
|10:17||Ohlund: Holding - 2 min.|
|17:22||Sedin: Hooking - 2 min.|
|19:06||Ohlund: Hooking - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 17825|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Eric Furlatt, Craig Spada|
|Line Judges - Brad Lazarowich, Jean Morin|