Colorado at Vancouver

Avs' Sakic plays hero in regulation, adds goal in shootout


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- With so much hype over the impending return Peter Forsberg, it's easy to forget the Colorado Avalanche already got a pretty good player back last week.

Joe Sakic reminded everyone on Wednesday night.

Playing his third game after missing 38 with a sports hernia, the Colorado captain scored the tying goal with 14.7 seconds left. He added another in the shootout, setting the stage for Marek Svatos' winning goal and lifting the Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

"Obviously Joe means everything to the organization, and having him return and have that jump and quickness he demonstrated over the last couple of games gets everybody excited around here," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He has upgraded our skill level and experience as well."

The Avalanche needed both after Alexandre Burrows scored on a wild scramble with 1:45 left to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead.

Sakic knocked in a rebound in the closing seconds after Jose Theodore was pulled for an extra attacker.

"It was scramble for sure," Sakic said of the final two minutes. "Unfortunately, we gave up the one goal and could have easily lost that game, so it was nice to get back rolling. Any time you can come from behind and find a way to get two points, it's a big lift for your hockey club."

Burrows dove to poke the puck in at the side of the net but it was swept out by teammate Henrik Sedin as bodies piled up in front of a sprawled Theodore. Play continued for more than 30 seconds, but a replay following the next whistle showed the puck barely crossed the goal line.

The time was put back on the clock, and Sakic needed it. He fought off the check of Willie Mitchell and lifted a backhand over Roberto Luongo as he fell.

"We had about six chances to get it out," said Luongo, who made 24 saves through overtime but only one in the shootout. "Either we shot it off our own guys or we didn't get it out. Next thing you know, a shot from the point and Sakic's alone on the side.

"I was able to get the first save and he chipped it over me for the second one. It's unacceptable, inexcusable. That should never happen, especially in an important game like that."

The point the Canucks got left them one ahead of the Avalanche, who moved into a tie with Nashville for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Mason Raymond scored the other goal for Vancouver, which had its season-high winning streak snapped at four. They have points in 10 of 11 (6-1-4) and have played two fewer games than Nashville and Colorado.

Andrew Brunette also scored and Theodore made 29 saves as Colorado completed its second third-period comeback in as many nights since bringing back free agent Forsberg and acquiring defensemen Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei in trades. Foote joined the team during the first period of Tuesday's overtime win in Calgary, and Salei made his debut in Vancouver, recording an assist on Sakic's tying goal.

Forsberg, who skated with the team for the first time Wednesday morning, said he isn't sure when he will make his on-ice return with the Avalanche.

"Every game we've injected a new player," said Quenneville, who has also gotten top forwards Paul Stastny (appendectomy) and Ryan Smyth (broken ankle) back in the past two weeks. "We've just got to keep building. Peter should be back soon and that should give us more life."


  • LW Matt Pettinger made his Vancouver debut after being acquired from Washington for LW Matt Cooke on Tuesday.
  • Canucks LW Jeff Cowan served his one-game suspension for a high hit during Saturday's win over Detroit.
  • Darwin Head, a 35-year old sawmill worker from Saskatchewan, won $1 million Canadian dollars by shooting 15 of 20 pucks into the net from the far blue line in less than 24 seconds, as part of a television contest.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Marek Svatos keeps busy around the Canucks' net and finishes with an assist and the winning SO goal.  (AP)
Marek Svatos keeps busy around the Canucks' net and finishes with an assist and the winning SO goal. (AP)
Related Links
Colorado  (33-26-6) «01101 (2)3
Vancouver (32-22-9)01100 (0)2
Three Stars
J. Theodore

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .935
R. Luongo

Saves: 24
Save Pct.: .923
J. Sakic

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
08:31Mason Raymond (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Ryan Shannon, Alexander Edler
19:00Andrew Brunette (13), Backhand Shot. Assist: Marek Svatos, John-Michael Liles
18:15Alexandre Burrows (9), Tip-In. Assist: Taylor Pyatt, Willie Mitchell
19:45Joe Sakic (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Ryan Smyth, Ruslan Salei
 Joe Sakic (1), GOAL
 Marek Svatos (2), GOAL
Penalty Summary
03:54Mitchell, 2 min, Interference
07:52Laperriere, 2 min, Hooking
15:33Sauer, 2 min, Holding
16:49Kesler, 2 min, Hooking
19:40McLeod, 2 min, Hooking
02:45Salo, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
04:40Edler, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
14:59Sedin, 2 min, Hooking
19:52McLeod, 2 min, Roughing
02:18Liles, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
07:18Sedin, 2 min, Holding
12:23Brunette, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Jose Theodore 63:5829220
Roberto Luongo 64:4224232
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18630
Referees - Ian Walsh, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Lyle Seitz, Dan Schachte
Other Games
Tor 4 Final
Fla 3
Pho 0 Final
Chi 1
SJ 4 Final
Colu 2
Min 3 Final
TB 2
Nash 4 Final
Buf 8