Posted February 14, 2012 on AP on Fox
Shootouts have been very kind to the Colorado Avalanche all season, except earlier this month when they hosted Vancouver. The Canucks are getting plenty of practice in tiebreakers, but they hope they won't need one Wednesday night as they look to take at least one point from the Avalanche for the 15th consecutive meeting. Colorado (28-25-4) had won all seven of its shootouts this season and 10 straight overall until losing its most recent one Feb. 4, when Vancouver's Mason Raymond scored the lone shootout goal in a 3-2 win. Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa had tied the game with 35 seconds left in regulation. That was one of five shootouts in Vancouver's last six games. The Canucks (35-15-6) have won five of eight shootouts during a 9-1-3 stretch, which has helped them build a hefty Northwest Division lead. "We're comfortable in those games," Bieksa said Monday after a 2-1 shootout win over Phoenix. "In the shootout we've been getting better results at least." Vancouver scored four times in six rounds in Monday's tiebreaker - including one from David Booth, who also scored in regulation. Booth has five goals and four assists in 11 games since returning from a knee injury. He credited linemate Ryan Kesler, who has scored six times in his last nine contests and had the deciding shootout goal Monday. "He's seeing the ice really well right now and that really helps me out when he can move the puck and just put it in good areas," Booth said. Kesler, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each has seven goals during Vancouver's extended run of dominance over Colorado - a 12-0-2 stretch dating back to Nov. 1, 2009. Henrik Sedin also has 12 assists during that span, including one on each of his brother's three goals during a 6-0 win Dec. 6 in the Avs' most recent visit to Vancouver. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider both played in that game due to a Luongo injury. It's unclear who will be in net Wednesday, but Schneider has stopped 104 of 107 shots while going 3-0-0 in four appearances versus Colorado since the start of last season. Jean-Sebastien Giguere could be back in the crease for the Avs after Semyon Varlamov suffered his fourth straight defeat Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss at St. Louis. Giguere played earlier this month against Vancouver and has won both of his starts since, making 39 saves in Friday's 4-3 overtime victory over Carolina. Colorado coach Joe Sacco seemed satisfied despite losing to the red-hot Blues, especially considering the game-winning goal went in off the elbow of a St. Louis skater. The Avs picked up a point for the fourth straight game. "I like where we are at right now," Sacco said. "We had an opportunity to block that last shot and we didn't. It takes a funny bounce and it goes in." The Avs may be looking to Paul Stastny during their three-game swing through Canada. Stastny has five multipoint games in his last 15, with Colorado winning all five - and going 0-7-3 otherwise. The team has scored two or fewer goals 11 times in that stretch. Offensive help could be on the way soon. Center Matt Duchene practiced Monday - without contact - for the first time since suffering a knee injury Dec. 29. He'll join the team on this trip, although it remains unclear when he'll return. "He looks good out there," Stastny told the Avs' official website. "He brings life to this team."

The Sedin twins’ art skills give their hockey skills a run for their money

Yes, those are self-portraits hand-drawn by Daniel and Henrik Sedin.   And yes, they are magnificently terrible. According to the great hockey blog Pass it to Bulis, the fellas tried their hand at art while spending part of the offseason in their home country of Sweden.  Their self-portraits were part of an experiment put forth by a Swedish newspaper to determine if identical...

The Vancouver Canucks & their star wars counterparts

The Phantom Call…I mean Menace With the re-release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in glorious 3D, we got to thinking. Why not pay tribute to the brilliant mind of George Lucas by taking a look at some past and present incarnations of the Canucks (and others surrounding the team) while anointing them as Star Wars characters? Of course there’s only one way to do this...

Canucks LW Higgins to return vs. Avalanche

Vancouver Canucks left wing Chris Higgins will return from a six-game absence for Wednesday's game against the Northwest Division rival Colorado Avalanche. Higgins has been sidelined following the aftereffects of foot and hand infections. The 28-year-old Higgins joked that since he lost an estimated 12 pounds after the adverse reaction to antibiotics that created flu-like symptoms...

Aaron Musick: The evoloution of Erik Johnson

This has been an article I've been writing for a while but because of the Denver Post's article by Mike Chambers, it felt like the right time. When the Avalanche added a player like Erik Johnson to their roster late last year, there were some serious questions that had to be answered. Was he a first round bust? Can he find his game again? Will he stop being so soft...

Canucks 3, Avalanche 1

Jannik Hansen scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:29 remaining, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Wednesday night. Hansen, who had gone 12 games without a goal, took Cody Hodgson's pass and drilled a shot over the shoulder of backup goalie Semyon Varlamov to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead. A defensive zone turnover led to Hansen's 14th of the season...

Canucks nip Coyotes on Kesler's shootout goal

Ryan Kesler scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.

Hansen's tiebreaking goal leads Canucks over Avs

Jannik Hansen scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:29 remaining, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Canucks cool off Coyotes in SO

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Ryan Kesler scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.

Avs' Matt Duchene practices, but likely won't play at Vancouver

Avalanche center Matt Duchene practiced with the team again today but remained in an orange no-contact sweater and is not expected to return to the lineup Wednesday at Vancouver.

Kesler lifts surging Canucks to SO win (AP)

Ryan Kesler scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night. Kesler deked goalie Jason LaBarbera and beat him with a low shot to the stick side. Cody Hodson, Alex Edler and David Booth also scored in the shootout for the Canucks.

Avs' Matt Duchene returns to practice, will make roadtrip

Matt Duchene returned to practice with the Avalanche today, albeit in an orange non-contact jersey.
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