VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks showed some rust early, then their rest paid off in the third period.
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's second goal pulled Vancouver even 5:12 into the third period, and Henrik Sedin netted the go-ahead tally less than four minutes later as the Canucks rallied late to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Friday.
Off since an 8-2 romp at Colorado six days earlier, Vancouver trailed 2-0 early after David Jones and Matt Duchene scored power-play goals. But Colorado had played twice since that last meeting, and wrapped up a trip in which the Avalanche played three-games in four nights. The Canucks took advantage in the third.
"We had a few days off and came back pretty good," Ehrhoff said as teammates chanted "Bobby Orr" in the locker room after the first two-goal game of his six-year NHL career.
"In the first period we didn't kill those first two power plays against and we were down, but we came back strong and kept working hard and we dominated in the third and won the game," Ehrhoff said.
Steve Bernier added another goal -- on a pretty slap pass from Ehrhoff -- just as the first penalty in a brief 5-on-3 advantage ended with 8:21 left. And Mikael Samuelsson scored on a skipping point shot less than two minutes later.
"We made it tough on them, our forwards worked their D all night down low and they didn't have enough left in the tank and we put it through them in the third," added Ehrhoff, who hit the post trying to get his hat trick goal.
Roberto Luongo made 22 saves as the Canucks opened a five-game homestand the way they ended a five-game road trip last Saturday in Colorado, where they beat the Avalanche 8-2.
"We knew they were going to come out strong, they were not going to be happy with the result they had last game against us," Luongo said. "They scored two on the power play but we stuck with our game plan and chipped away."
Ehrhoff cut Vancouver's deficit to 2-1 with a man-advantage goal early in the second period, and made it 2-2 with his second goal 5:12 into the third period.
The Canucks almost went ahead on the next shift, with Alex Burrows hitting the post and Ryan Kesler chipping the rebound onto the goal line before the puck was cleared. Burrows then set up the go-ahead goal with a spin move at the side of the net that left goalie Craig Anderson down and Sedin with an empty net.
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, sporting a cut lip and a suture over his eye after 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."
While the Canucks rested after the one-sided win in Denver, Colorado had split games in Calgary and Edmonton before wrapping up its stretch of three games in four nights.
Avalanche coach Joe Sacco didn't think fatigue was a good excuse. He said his team needs to learn keep pressing after building a two-goal lead, something that also cost them a win in Edmonton on Wednesday.
"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.
"You can't play in this league if you are going to sit back and let the other team dictate how the game is going to be played. I thought we played pretty well in the first two periods and then a couple of missed assignments, a little casual in our defensive zone coverage, a bad penalty, and now the next thing you know the game is out of reach."
- Colorado beat the Canucks 3-0 in the first weekend of the season, but Vancouver has won the next three meetings by a combined score of 16-5.
- The Avalanche also got LW T.J. Galiardi back after he missing nine games because of a high ankle sprain.
- Veteran D Adam Foote missed a second game due to a jaw injury.
- Vancouver LW Daniel Sedin, the team's leading goal scorer the last three seasons, is expected to return Sunday against Chicago. He has been out for 18 games due to a broken foot.