NHL

Canucks rally late to beat Avs and maintain division lead

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The Canadian Press
3/10/2010 1:41:00 AM
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DENVER -- Jannik Hansen put his body into his winning goal and was thankful for a couple of fortunate bounces.

After all, the puck rattled around and glanced off him and the goalie before finally going into the net for the decisive score in the Vancouver Canucks' 6-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Mikael Samuelsson added his first NHL hat trick for the Canucks, who rallied from a three-goal deficit for their fourth victory in five games.

There was 2:08 left when Hansen broke open the tie with an unusual goal that was confirmed by video replay. Aaron Rome took a shot from the point that bounced off the end boards. Hansen rushed into the crease between the net and goalie Craig Anderson, and the puck caromed in off his lower body.

"It was lucky. Lucky," Hansen said. "I'm coming from the corner and it touched me in the chest and got stuck in my jersey. I skated by the goalie, it dropped off, hit him in the back and with a few bounces went into the net."

Anderson said he was hoping officials would have waved off the goal for goalie interference.

"The puck hit him in the stomach and it came down and somehow bounced in," Anderson said. "He took me out of the play to get to the puck. It's a judgment call on the referee's part."

Hansen said he never worried that the goal would be nullified.

"I was sure it would (stand up) because I didn't use my hands," Hansen said. "It was a good goal."

Daniel Sedin added an empty-net goal with 8.8 seconds left to seal the Canucks' fourth straight win over Colorado. The Avalanche were denied in their bid to move into a tie with Northwest Division-leading Vancouver.

"Frustrating. The most frustrating loss we've had in a long time," Colorado defenceman John-Michael Liles said. "Too many turnovers. We'd make a mistake and the puck was behind us and in the net. We stopped taking the play to them and they took it us."

Down 3-0 and 4-1, Vancouver pulled within 4-3 when Samuelsson scored his third goal of the night at 18:18 of the second period. Samuelsson picked up a loose puck in the crease and tapped it past Anderson.

The Canucks tied it with 11:56 remaining when Alex Burrows, positioned in front of Anderson, deflected in Christian Erhoff's shot.

"We wished we didn't have to come back in any game. It takes too much energy out of you," Samuelsson said. "But this shows we can play for 60 minutes."

Colorado scored three goals in the first period, netting the first two in a 28-second span.

Peter Mueller, skating behind the net, got the puck out to Matt Duchene. He punched it in with a shot from just outside the right post at 6:17 of the first period.

T.J. Galiardi set up the second goal, passing the puck ahead to Chris Stewart, who gathered speed while skating down the right side and ripped a slap shot from a tough angle near the lower edge of the circle. The puck beat goalie Roberto Luongo's glove and got inside the right post.

The Avalanche made it 3-0 on Duchene's second goal of the night and 23rd of the season at 13:26 of the first.

Paul Stastny, matching a career high with his 50th assist, fed Duchene in the slot. Duchene fired a wrist shot into the net on the power play. He benefited when the puck glanced off the skate Vancouver defenceman Alexander Edler, causing a change of direction that Luongo could not adjust to in time.

Vancouver scored it first goal when Samuelsson netted his first at 6:40 of the second period, but the Avalanche came right back on an unassisted score by Mueller 36 seconds later.

Samuelsson made it 4-2 at 11:45 of the second, knocking a rebound past Anderson.

NOTES: Duchene leads NHL rookies with 10 power-play goals. ... Mueller has at least one point in each of his four games for Colorado since being acquired a week ago in a trade with Phoenix. ... Samuelsson boosted his point total to a career-high 46. His 27 goals this season rank second on the Canucks to Burrows' 30.

Henrik Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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