Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) and right wing Jake Virtanen (18) celebrate Virtanen’s goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Roussel, Virtanen lead Canucks to 5-1 win over Avalanche

Vancouver moves into final wild-card playoff spot

DENVER — Jake Virtanen and Antoine Roussel each had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks raced to an early lead and defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 Saturday night.

Brock Boeser, Nikolay Goldobin and Tyler Motte also scored for the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom had 34 saves as Vancouver moved to 4-1-2 in its last seven games.

Matt Calvert scored for Colorado, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots.

The Canucks moved two points in front of Colorado in the Western Conference standings. The Avalanche have three wins in their last 20 games.

Colorado broke up its top line to start the game in an effort to generate more offence. But the plan didn’t produce. Nathan MacKinnon moved to centre between Alexander Kerfoot and Colin Wilson, and Carl Soderberg was with Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.

MacKinnon was back with his old linemates before the first period ended and the Canucks had grabbed a two-goal lead. Varlamov allowed two goals on Vancouver’s first four shots.

The Canucks got the lead when Virtanen scored 1:32 into the first and Boeser got his 17th at 6:04.

Roussel’s sixth goal of the season 7:30 into the second period made it 3-0. Colorado got one back on a tip by Calvert at 11:18. Just 3:59 later, Motte redirected a shot past Varlamov to make it 4-1.

Goldobin scored on the power play at 13:59 of the third to complete the scoring.

RELATED: Canucks Report – February grind will determine playoff positioning

NOTES: Canucks C Markus Granlund was scratched and missed his first game of the season. … Avalanche D Erik Johnson returned to the lineup after sitting out the last two games before the All-Star break with a concussion sustained against Los Angeles on Jan. 21. … Goldobin was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous four games. … Colorado didn’t have a penalty until the third period.

UP NEXT: Vancouver: At Philadelphia on Monday night. Colorado: Hosts Columbus on Tuesday night.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Security guard now on patrol at three Terrace banks

Company hired to secure ATM vestibules due to safety concerns

LNG Canada sponsors fast-tracked driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Most Read