VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- T.J Galiardi scored twice,
Peter Budaj made 20 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche snapped an
eight-game losing streak with a surprising 4-1 victory over the
Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Milan Hejduk had a goal and two assists, and Ben Guite also
scored to help Colorado snap an 0-7-1 skid and put a dent in the
Canucks' playoff positioning.
Pavol Demitra snapped Budaj's shutout bid with 4:38 left, but by
then it was too late. Coming off a 5-3 loss in Edmonton on
Saturday night and playing at home for just the second time in
the last nine games, the Canucks couldn't take advantage of an
injury-riddled Avalanche team in last place in the Western
Vancouver only managed five shots in the first period - none
before Guite made it 2-0 7:44 into the second -- losing three
straight games for the first time since an eight-game losing
skid at the end of January. The Canucks followed that by going
20-5-1 in February and March, but are 0-2-1 in April.
Galiardi opened the scoring on a delayed penalty 7:32 into the
first, one-timing a hard shot form the slot over Roberto
Luongo's glove after Canucks defensemen Shane O'Brien and Kevin
Bieksa collided along the side boards.
Galiardi made it 4-0 with 7:56 left, beating Luongo from a sharp
angle for his third NHL goal - all coming against the Canucks -
in his seventh career game.
Vancouver remained tied with Calgary atop the Northwest
Division, and fell three points behind fourth-place Chicago in
the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the
playoffs. The Flames, who have played one fewer game, host Los
Angeles on Monday before traveling to Vancouver for a showdown
The game started with an emotional tribute and moment of silence
for the fiancee of Canucks forward Taylor Pyatt, Carly Bragnalo,
who was killed in a car crash Friday while vacationing with
family in Jamaica. Pyatt missed his second game and has been
given an indefinite leave of absence by the team.
Several Vancouver players have pledged to win for the missing
teammate, but gave a sellout crowd of 18,630 little reason to
get loud after the moment of silence.
They Canucks were outshot 26-21 by an Avalanche team in the
midst of the longest winless streak (0-7-1) since the franchise
moved to Colorado in 1995. The Avalanche did get forward Wojtek
Wolski back after missing three games to illness, and he set up
Guite's goal. But Colorado was still missing 10 regulars to
injury, including four defensemen and four top-six forwards.
Guite doubled the lead with a quick shot from inside the left
faceoff circle that went between the legs of both defenseman
Willie Mitchell and Luongo.
The Canucks finally got on the shot clock thanks to two straight
power plays shortly after Guite's goal, but couldn't beat Budaj.
Steve Bernier had the best of the few early chances, but fired
wide on a jam play in the first period and hit Budaj right on
the chest with a point-blank one-timer late in the second.
Budaj stopped Bernier again on a close-range backhander 2
minutes into the third period, and got a break when Daniel Sedin
hit the crossbar a minute later.
Hejduk made it 3-0 5 minutes into the third after a bad giveaway
by Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler in front of Luongo, who
finished with 22 saves.