DENVER - A night after a tough loss, the Vancouver Canucks avoided a
letdown against the reeling and banged-up Colorado Avalanche.

 

 

Jason LaBarbera made 22 saves, and twins Daniel and
Henrik Sedin scored goals to help the Canucks hand Colorado its sixth
consecutive loss, 4-1 on Friday night.

 

 

Playing the fourth game in a six-game trip and the
second game in two nights - the Canucks dropped a 4-2 decision in St.
Louis on Thursday - Vancouver made sure it didn't take injury-depleted
Colorado lightly.

 

"Not right now," Henrik Sedin said. "Maybe if the
game would have been in December, but we knew we needed these points.
It took a while for us to get going but once we did we knew we were
going to beat them."

Pavol Demitra and Alexander Edler also scored for
Vancouver, which beat Colorado for the second straight time after
losing eight straight in the series.

"The first period was a little bit challenging, guys
were trying to find their legs," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
"Play picked up in the second and we generated a lot of shots and quite
a few chances.


"We got two quick goals at the beginning of the third and did what we had to do to win the game."

T.J. Galiardi opened the scoring for Colorado with
his first NHL goal, beating LaBarbera with a wrist shot with 6:35 left
in the first period.


Minutes after Demitra failed to score in a penalty shot, Henrik Sedin tied it with 6:46 left in the second period.

Vancouver was awarded the penalty shot after Ian
Laperriere kicked away a teammate's broken stick and it inadvertently
struck the puck as the Canucks were trying to score, drawing 10-minute
misconduct-and game-misconduct infractions.

Demitra, gathering speed as he approached the net,
fired a backhander, but goaltender Andrew Raycroft managed to get his
arm in the way and the puck deflected off his glove.

The stop was among 15 saves in the second period for
Raycroft, including one while sprawled on his belly to help kill one of
the Canucks' four power plays in the period.

Vancouver kept up the pressure, though, breaking
through for the go-ahead goal 37 seconds into the third period.
Raycroft was unable to control a rebound and Daniel Sedin, positioned
in the crease, poked it into the net for his 28th goal.

"We were taking pucks to the net and taking a lot of
shots," Henrik Sedin said. "We thought if we kept shooting like we were
and get a few bodies in front we were going to beat him. And we did."

Galiardi said scoring his first career goal was
"pretty special," but that it was also bittersweet because it came in a
losing effort.

The rookie is among eight young players for Colorado
who have made their NHL debuts this season, reflective of the injuries
that have sidelined such frontline players as Paul Stastny and Joe
Sakic.


"That's what happens with injuries," Galiardi said. "We've got a lot younger here and we're trying to learn as much as we can."


Demitra scored his 18th goal of the season with 15:33 left, and Edler added his 10th with 2:09 remaining.