The Canucks went up 2-0 on the Avalanche in the first period off of a couple of pretty goals from Adam Cracknell and Jannik Hansen. Ryan Miller looked like his old, stellar self as he had multiple highlight reel saves to keep Colorado off the board. The period was full of penalties, mostly due to shenanigans between Derek Dorsett and Francois Beauchemin after Vancouver's first goal. The lone powerplay, belonging to the Avalanche, came up empty despite a couple of good looks, the best coming off the stick of Nathan MacKinnon.
The second period saw much of the same: Avalanche scoring opportunities denied by Miller. Midway through, the Canucks scored their third of the night, but after review, the goal was reversed for being batted in by hand. Colorado had a number of chances after that, and it seemed as if the momentum had turned in the Avalanche's favor. However, Miller stood strong, and on a power play that came as a result of a trapezoid violation by Semyon Varlamov, Vancouver regained the 3-0 lead.
The third period continued as the prior two had done with the Avalanche pushing play but finding no answer for Miller. Midway through the final frame, Hansen scored his second of the night to give Vancouver a 4-0 lead. In response, Patrick Roy made the aggressive choice to pull Varlamov for the extra skater at the ten-minute mark of the period. The Canucks hit the empty net with eight minutes left in the game. Matt Duchene prevented the shut out with a goal in the final minute.
One of many beautiful saves by Ryan Miller, this one set the tone for the entire night.
Vancouver's third goal at the end of the second period was the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Avalanche. Despite some good looks in the third, Miller continued to get the best of Colorado, preventing any hope of a comeback.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"It's probably one of the better performances I've seen from a goaltender against us this year . . . (Ryan Miller) was really good. He was very solid, was moving well, was reading plays well . . . he was outstanding out there, outstanding." - Patrick Roy
Every point is vital to the Avalanche right now, and losing these two has primed the Minnesota Wild to come back into the playoff picture, pushing Colorado out as a result.
The Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, February 24th at 8:00 pm.