Canucks 3, Avalanche 2, SO

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:49 AM

DENVER (AP) - Kevin Bieksa played impromptu goalie and goal scorer in the final seconds to save the Vancouver Canucks.

Shortly after altering a shot with the net empty, the defenseman flew back down the ice to knock in the tying goal with 34.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

From there, Mason Raymond and Roberto Luongo took over. Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout and Luongo stopped all three shots as the Canucks rallied for a 3-2 win over the struggling Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

"Plays like (Bieksa) made enable you to get points," Raymond said. "We'll take it."

Trailing 2-1 with 1:33 remaining, the Canucks pulled Luongo for an extra skater. Soon after, T.J. Galiardi had a chance to cement the win for the Avalanche, but missed the empty net.

Hardly by accident. Bieksa positioned himself in such a way that caused Galiardi to sail his shot wide.

Then, Bieksa made it a costly misfire as he blasted a shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Not bad for a new stick.

Just before scoring his tying goal, Bieksa sat on the bench, studying his stable of sticks. He wanted one that would be more grippy given the deteriorating ice conditions.

He selected wisely.

"I like to go to a freshly taped stick, in case the puck bounces," Bieksa explained. "If I feel like it's a little whippy or the tape's messed up, you switch to a new one."

After a scoreless overtime, the game came down to a shootout.

Usually, that's advantage Avalanche.

They had won seven straight this year and 10 in a row dating to last season, which was one shy of tying the NHL record set by the Dallas Stars during the 2005-06 season.

But Raymond put an end to that streak by sending a shot through the pads of Giguere. On a sneaky move, too, as Raymond drifted out wide and then worked his way back into the center.

"I just wanted to be patient and he just sneaked a shot in there," said Giguere, whose team has dropped five straight games. "They're a good team. They know how to win. They found a way at the end."

Thanks, in big part, to Luongo, who stopped a season-high 44 shots in regulation and overtime.

He was just warming up.

In the shootout, Luongo stuffed Milan Hejduk, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly. Luongo pumped his fist after stopping O'Reilly's attempt.

"Those guys have some pretty good shooters. They have a pretty good shootout record," Luongo said. "I was able to get a couple of breaks there."

Jay McClement and David Jones had goals for the Avalanche as the team finally halted a long scoring drought against the Canucks. The last time Colorado put a puck in the net against Vancouver was last March, ending a dry spell that spanned nearly 178 minutes.

McClement's goal in the second period was his first in 19 games. He took a feed from Daniel Winnik and blasted it by Luongo.

The Avalanche could've been up by more if not for the sprawling saves turned in time and again by Luongo. His biggest save may have been stonewalling Winnik on a breakaway with just over 5 minutes remaining.

And while Bieksa doesn't get credit for a stop, his was pretty important, too.

"Just wanted to put my body in front of it," Bieksa nonchalantly said.

Ryan Kesler got the Canucks on the board first when he sent a shot past Giguere early in the opening period. The goal came soon after defenseman Kyle Quincey lost his stick and was unable to effectively cover anyone. It was Kesler's 16th goal this season.

Colorado answered right back as Jones knocked in a shot from the left side of Luongo after receiving Paul Stastny's pinpoint pass. That broke the hex Vancouver had on Colorado's goal scorers.

In two games this season, Luongo and Cory Schneider have each posted a shutout by bottling up the Avalanche.

For Jones, this was a step in the right direction to escape coach Joe Sacco's doghouse. Jones was benched last game for his recent struggles on the ice.

"It's tough to watch your teammates out there and not be able to do something to help them," Jones said. "So, it's nice to get back out there for sure."

The most entertaining moment of the first period - maybe even the game, judging by the fans' raucous reaction - was a brawl between Cody McLeod and Byron Bitz that left McLeod's face dripping blood. It was McLeod's club-leading 11th fighting major this season.

Bitz was just called up from Chicago of the AHL on Friday and played in his first NHL contest in nearly two years.

NOTES: Avs F Peter Mueller was a scratch just before the game because of the flu. He missed 40 games earlier this season with concussion symptoms. ... Landeskog had nine shots on goal, setting a new franchise mark for a rookie. ... Kesler has scored goals in four of the last five games.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:31VAN Ryan Kesler (16) ASST: Alexander Edler (30), David Booth (11) 1 - 0 VAN
09:14COL PPG - David Jones (10) ASST: Paul Stastny (19), Ryan O'Reilly (24) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
03:39COL Jay McClement (7) ASST: Daniel Winnik (11) 2 - 1 COL
3rd Period
19:25VAN Kevin Bieksa (5) ASST: Henrik Sedin (44) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
1COLMilan Hejduk - Save
2VANMaxim Lapierre - Save
3COLGabriel Landeskog - Save
4VANMason Raymond - Goal
5COLRyan O'Reilly - Save
Shootout Summary
RNDColorado AvalancheVancouver Canucks
1Milan HejdukMaxim Lapierre
2Gabriel LandeskogMason Raymond
3Ryan O'Reilly
Three Stars of the Game
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
SA: 29TOI: 65:00
GA: 2EV: 22-24
PIM: 0PP: 5-5
SV%: .931SH: 0-0
Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo
SA: 46TOI: 63:56
GA: 2EV: 32-33
PIM: 0PP: 7-8
SV%: .957SH: 5-5
Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog
G: 0Shots: 9
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 20:24
Penalty Summary
1st Period
04:51COL TJ Galiardi  Elbowing against  Kevin Bieksa
08:46VAN David Booth  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jean-Sebastien Giguere
10:46VAN Mason Raymond  Hi-sticking against  Kyle Quincey
16:42COL Cody McLeod  Fighting (maj) against  Byron Bitz
16:42VAN Byron Bitz  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McLeod
19:32COL TJ Galiardi  Roughing against  Dan Hamhuis
2nd Period
13:20COL Chuck Kobasew  Tripping against  Kevin Bieksa
17:46VAN Dan Hamhuis  Cross checking against  Gabriel Landeskog
3rd Period
03:02COL Paul Stastny  Hooking against  Mason Raymond
04:37VAN Alexander Edler  Interference against  David Van Der Gulik
11:17COL Daniel Winnik  Holding against  Kevin Bieksa
13:56COL Shane O'Brien  Roughing against  Alexandre Burrows
13:56VAN Alexandre Burrows  Roughing against  Shane O'Brien
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/51/4
Faceoff Wins3434
Blocked Shots1217
Penalty Minutes1517
2D. HamhuisD00-14224:50
3K. BieksaD1003025:07
4K. BallardD0000016:08
6S. SaloD0010022:43
7D. BoothL0111217:34
9C. HodgsonC0013014:41
14A. BurrowsR0004217:47
17R. KeslerC1004024:21
21M. RaymondL0011220:35
22D. SedinL0002021:17
23A. EdlerD0122226:17
27M. MalhotraC000109:19
29A. RomeD0002015:16
32D. WeiseR000009:25
33H. SedinC0110021:43
34B. BitzR000158:32
36J. HansenR000108:04
40M. LapierreC000008:57
1R. Luongo4446.95763:56
3R. O'ByrneD0000021:08
5S. O'BrienD0004215:04
6E. JohnsonD0003024:21
7Van Der GulikL000006:15
8J. HejdaD00-11020:32
12K. PorterC000004:57
16J. McClementC1013018:53
17C. KobasewR00-13214:45
22M. HunwickD0000019:21
23M. HejdukR00-13017:49
26P. StastnyC01-26222:51
27K. QuinceyD00-12026:09
34D. WinnikL0112216:54
37R. O'ReillyC01-14023:04
39T. GaliardiL0014413:33
54D. JonesR10-12018:01
55C. McLeodL000053:59
92G. LandeskogL0009020:24
35J. Giguere2729.93165:00