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Pyatt's third-period goal lifts Canucks over Avalanche

Dec 3, 2006 - 5:53 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Taylor Pyatt and the Vancouver Canucks did not score many goals again. But this time, they got enough.

Pyatt scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period and Roberto Luongo recorded 40 saves to help the Canucks to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canucks entered with only three tallies in their last four games, winning just once in that stretch. Vancouver also entered with a 2.13 goals-per-game average, ranking 27th in the NHL.

Both of Vancouver's tallies Saturday came on the power play. The Canucks came in ranked 29th in the league with the man advantage.

"It was good to see the power play getting a couple goals," Vancouver captain Markus Naslund said. "Hopefully, that's a sign of things to come."

Pyatt netted the decisive goal when he stood on the doorstep and deflected defenseman Mattias Ohlund's shot from the point past goaltender Peter Budaj at 7:36 of the third period.

"We worked it around pretty well," Pyatt said. "To get two goals is big for this team, and it was a big goal for us."

Luongo, who gave up four goals in a 4-1 defeat to Colorado on November 25, met the challenge the Avalanche provided.

"(Luongo) was without a doubt our best player on the ice tonight," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "He definitely gave us the chance to win. We've had that done to us a few times this year, so it was great to see Louie do that to another team. I felt that after the disallowed goal in the first, we didn't play that well and they really took the play to us, and Louie kept us in."

"I thought we played hard, we played a pretty good hockey game, but we ran into Roberto and that's why he's here," Colorado captain Joe Sakic said. "He's the best goalie in the league and he showed it tonight."

Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead when he poked a rebound past Budaj at 14:32 of the middle session for his seventh goal of the season.

The Avalanche tied the game at 4:03 of the third period, when blue-liner John-Michael Liles took a pass from Andrew Brunette and deked Luongo before backhanding the puck past him.

"He played well," Liles said of Luongo. "It's tough when you get a lot of opportunities and you can't seem to bury them. That's why (Vancouver) went out and got him. He's a guy that can win games. I don't think we're disappointed with the effort. It's a little frustrating as a team to be close to at least one point and have one kind of slip away."

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