Soderberg scores winner in shootout, Avalanche beat Canucks
|Toronto Star 28 Feb 2019 at 09:24|
Colorado Avalanche centre Carl Soderberg is surrounded by teammates after scoring the winning goal in the shootout of the team s NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Avalanche won 3-2.¬†¬†(David Zalubowski / AP)
Soderberg scored in the sixth round of the shootout, Semyon Varlamov came up with big saves all night long and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Wednesday.
Soderberg knocked in the winner off the glove of Jacob Markstrom as the Avalanche improved to 2-12 in games beyond regulation.
Another memorable moment in what‚Äôs been a career-best goal scoring season for Soderberg.
‚ÄúHe deserves all the opportunities he‚Äôs getting,‚ÄĚ Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs playing a big man‚Äôs game and is helping us in a lot of different ways on a nightly basis, a very consistent player for us.‚ÄĚ
Right after Soderberg‚Äôs goal, Markstrom dropped his head. He thought he had it.
‚ÄúI got my glove back and it goes off my glove and it goes crossbar and just inside the post,‚ÄĚ Markstrom explained. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs frustrating.‚ÄĚ
Varlamov made 30 saves through overtime and five more in the shootout. He‚Äôs now 30-15 over his career in shootouts with a .750 save percentage.
Mikko Rantanen had a power-play goal and Nathan MacKinnon added his 33rd goal of the season to tie captain Gabriel Landeskog for the team lead. The Avalanche have gone 5-0-1 over their last six games to climb back into the thick of the playoff chase.
‚ÄúAll the teams around us, they‚Äôre not just going to sleep, they‚Äôre going to continue to play hard,‚ÄĚ Varlamov said. ‚ÄúEverybody‚Äôs winning, so we‚Äôve got to keep winning games.‚ÄĚ
Trailing 2-1 after the first period, Josh Leivo tied the game with 3:02 remaining in regulation on a wrist shot. Antoine Roussel also scored for the Canucks.
Tanner Pearson made his debut with the team after being acquired Monday from Pittsburgh. He nearly had the winner in OT on a tip-in, but the officials ruled Varlamov made the save and was impaired by Pearson to defend the net. The play was upheld on review.
‚ÄúIt was a goal. I finished the goal,‚ÄĚ Pearson said. ‚ÄúMy stick moved the goalie to knock the puck loose. That‚Äôs the way it goes sometimes.‚ÄĚ
Markstrom kept Vancouver close by turning back 43 shots, including a huge glove save early in overtime.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre seeing a guy mature in front of our eyes, really,‚ÄĚ Green said.
After breaking them up for a few games, the Avalanche reassembled their top line of Rantanen, MacKinnon and Landeskog, who had an assist on Rantanen‚Äôs goal. The Avalanche improved to 23-5-5 when each of them has a point.
The opening period didn‚Äôt start well for Rantanen with the right winger taking a high-stick penalty 11 seconds into the game. But it certainly ended well as he scored with 1:34 remaining in the first to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. Rantanen‚Äôs 27th goal of the season was set up on a play by Landeskog, who stole the puck from Markus Granlund, moved into the zone and dished it over to Rantanen.
MacKinnon staked Colorado a 1-0 lead that lasted all of 54 seconds. Roussel quickly countered by tipping in a shot in the middle of traffic.
‚ÄúWe were buzzing,‚ÄĚ MacKinnon said. ‚ÄúThat goalie (Markstrom) played awesome. He always plays good against us. He‚Äôs just a good goalie in general.‚ÄĚ