NHL

Sun, Dec 8, 2013 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Santorelli, Canucks pin first loss of season on Avs' Giguere

Vancouver Canucks forward Mike Santorelli
Canucks forward Mike Santorelli celebrates a goal against Colorado.
Share This Story

   
 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)

Mike Santorelli has truly found a home with the Vancouver Canucks.

Santorelli, signed as free agent by Vancouver in the offseason after being cast adrift by three NHL clubs, scored two goals and added an assist as the Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Sunday night.

''It feels nice, for sure. A lot of us have been sniffing around (the net), and our line played great tonight,'' he said.

The 27-year-old Vancouver native was selected by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round of the 2004 draft, but spent much of his four seasons with them in the minors.

Santorelli failed to stick with Florida and Winnipeg, and also played briefly in Sweden during the NHL lockout last season.

But Santorelli, who joined Vancouver on a two-way contract, has eight goals this season, easily surpassing the two he produced with Florida last season while splitting the campaign with the Panthers and Jets.

He is only one shy of the nine he scored in 60 games with Florida in the 2011-12 season.

''He was our best player by far tonight, in all areas,'' Canucks coach John Tortorella said.

The Canucks (17-10-5) earned their fifth win in sixth games and moved within a point of the Avalanche (20-8) in the tight Western Conference standings.

NHL STANDINGS

How is your team doing in the realigned NHL? Check out all the divisional races.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. The Avalanche were beaten for the third time in nine games.

Jamie McGinn had the lone goal for Colorado, scored with only 7.1 seconds left. That kept Roberto Luongo (14-8-5) from earning his 65th NHL shutout.

''I honestly felt we played a better game than them and, unfortunately, we have nothing to show for the result,'' Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. ''But, I mean, Luongo was good. Both goalies were good, actually.''

Luongo had no interest in talking about the one puck that got past him.

''If you ask me about the goal I am going to snap,'' Luongo said with a laugh. ''It's all right, that stuff happens. We'll take the two points and move on.''

Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, who were outshot 29-21.

Giguere's 7-0 start was a career best and a Colorado franchise record.

''I didn't think we played terribly bad,'' he said. ''But I don't think it was our best effort, either. I don't think it was, overall, a great effort by either team. It was kind of a grind-it-out type of game, and they got the two goals in the third.

''We just couldn't recover from that.''

The Canucks, criticized by Tortorella following Friday's overtime win over Phoenix for an ongoing inability to finish out wins, broke open a tight game with two goals in the third.

Vancouver, shut out on three power plays, failed to net a man-advantage goal for the first time in eight games. Colorado had one power play.

The Avalanche outshot the Canucks 12-6 in the first period, but Vancouver held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Santorelli opened the scoring 5:34 in on his club's first shot. He deked Giguere after Chris Higgins intercepted Colorado defenseman Nate Guerin's pass behind the net and sent the puck out front.

Check out our latest Facebook updates, tweets and photos.

The Canucks had chances to increase their lead in the closing seconds of the first, but Nick Holden pulled the puck off the goal line. Giguere also stopped Daniel Sedin's backhand and then denied Ryan Stanton on the final shot of the period.

Early in the second, Giguere stopped a dangerous chance by Santorelli, and Luongo foiled John Mitchell by doing the splits. With just over three minutes left in the second, Holden beat Luongo cleanly with a high slap shot, but the puck bounced off the crossbar, went back down to the ice and was cleared.

Kesler put the Canucks ahead 2-0 at 1:32 of the second period when he tucked in Santorelli's rebound while standing alone beside the net. The goal was Kesler's 15th in 32 games this season, putting him seven shy of the 22 he mustered in 77 games in the 2011-12 season.

He has already surpassed the four he scored in an injury-plagued and lockout-shortened 2013 season.

About five minutes later, Santorelli beat Giguere with a high shot while using Higgins as a decoy on a 2-on-1 break.

The Canucks' second line of Santorelli, Kesler and Higgins, who had two assists, accounted for all of Vancouver's goals.

''They are two unbelievable players to play with, and it's nice playing with two guys like that,'' Santorelli said. ''You learn a lot from them. We are communicating with each other on the bench and letting each other know where we are and things like that, and it's been fun.''

NOTES: The Canucks recalled D Yannick Weber from Utica (AHL). He adds further depth following Alex Edler's undisclosed injury and Tortorella's comment that Andrew Alberts' play ''scares'' him. Edler sat out a second consecutive game. . . . This season marks the first since the former Quebec Nordiques franchise relocated to Colorado that the Avalanche and Canucks aren't in the same division.

Tagged: Avalanche, Canucks, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins, Mike Santorelli, Nick Holden

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt