Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mike Santorelli Scores Twice for Canucks in 3-1 Win over Colorado

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mike Santorelli Scores Twice for Canucks in 3-1 Win over Colorado

Article excerpt

Santorelli scores 2 as Canucks beat Avs

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VANCOUVER - Mike Santorelli continued his rise from the NHL's scrap heap with a flourish Sunday night.

Santorelli, who was signed as free agent by Vancouver in the off-season after being cast adrift by three other NHL clubs, scored two goals and added an assist as the Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

"It feels nice to, for sure, a lot of us have been sniffing around (the net) and our line played great tonight," said Santorelli.

The 27-year-old Vancouver native was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round (178th overall) in 2004, but spent much of his four seasons with them in the minors and failed to stick with Florida and Winnipeg while also playing briefly in Sweden during the NHL lockout last season.

But Santorelli, who joined Vancouver on a two-way contract, now has eight goals on the season, easily surpassing the two he produced with Florida last season while splitting the campaign with the Panthers and Jets. And, he is just one shy of the nine goals that he had in 60 games with Florida in 2011-12.

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

The Canucks (17-10-5) posted their fifth win in sixth games and moved within a point of the upstart Avs (20-8-0) in the tight Western Conference standings.

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

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

Jamie McGinn replied for Colorado with only 7.1 seconds left in the game. As a result, Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo was denied the 65th shutout of his career and a chance to move within one of tying Roy, who ranks 14th all-time in NHL history.

"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."

The Canucks goaltender improved his record on the season to 14-8-5.

Colorado goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, 36, lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. The Avs suffered only their third loss in the past nine games.

Giguere's 7-0-0 start to the season was a career best as well as a Colorado franchise goaltending record.

"I didn't think we played terribly bad," said Giguere. "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 period. …

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