Final - OT
  for this game

Canucks win in OT over Avs, inch closer to top spot in West

Mar 25, 2012 - 5:14 AM
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Chris Higgins' second goal of the game came 1:40 into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canucks received good news before the game even started as Calgary's loss to Dallas earlier on Saturday helped the team clinch the Northwest Division for the fourth straight season.

In the extra session, a good forecheck from Jannik Hansen in the left corner saw him win the puck and fire a pass between the legs of a Colorado defender to the slot where Higgins one-timed it home for the win.

Higgins tied the game in the second period while Mason Raymond also scored for the Canucks, who have won two straight and with 99 points sit just two back of St. Louis for the top spot in the Western Conference. Roberto Luongo made 38 stops in the win.

"Luongo made some great saves tonight and allowed us to stay in the game," said Higgins. "I had just hopped on the ice and Janni hunted down the defender and I was able to get the shot off."

Gabriel Landeskog and Jamie McGinn both scored for the Avalanche, who dropped to 10th in the conference standings with the loss. Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves and added an assist.

"We got that point tonight and that helps," said Landeskog. "We got off to a good start tonight and we have to take that with us next week because when we are there we can't get behind."

Colorado is tied with Los Angeles and San Jose in points, but due to tiebreakers sits behind both of those teams.

The only goal of the first period came 1:13 in on the power play and went to Colorado as Milan Hejduk fired a shot from in front that Luongo made a kick save on, but it went to the left and Landeskog snapped it in.

The Avs made it a 2-0 game with another power play goal. Varlamov had the puck and sent it all the way to the Vancouver blueline. There at the right side, Paul Stastny sent a pass to the slot where McGinn took it in stride and beat Luongo with a wrister at the 11:01 mark.

Vancouver, though, made it a one-goal game with 4:05 to play in the second on the power play when Sami Salo's shot from the right point hit a body in front and went right back to Raymond, who fired it home from the right circle.

Just 1:35 later, the game was tied as Samuel Pahlsson sent a backhand pass from the right circle to the slot and Higgins slid over to the left before beating Varlamov to the far side.

Game Notes

Landeskog leads all rookies in the NHL with 22 goals, one more than Philadelphia's Matt Read...Vancouver hosts Los Angeles on Monday...Colorado plays its next three games on the road starting on Monday in San Jose...Vancouver has won all five meetings with Colorado this season.