Landeskog, Tanguay lead the way as Canucks fall flat in loss to Avalanche

VANCOUVER — Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.

Jarome Iginla also scored and Ryan O’Reilly added two assists as Colorado (34-28-12) snapped a three-game losing streak. John Mitchell added a late empty-net goal.

Yannick Weber scored his third goal in as many games for Vancouver (43-27-4), which had won three in a row, but came out completely flat and never recovered despite coming to life in the third period with 18 shots.

Eddie Lack stopped 34 shots in taking the loss.

Berra, who hadn’t won in the NHL since Nov. 6 and hadn’t started since Nov. 25, was rarely tested by the Canucks, who sit just two points up on Los Angeles for second in the Pacific Division after the Kings defeated the New York Islanders earlier Thursday. The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, sit ninth in the Western Conference, but are just three points behind Vancouver.

Despite losing to the Oilers in Edmonton a night earlier, the Avalanche dominated play in the first period, carrying an 18-5 shot edge through 20 minutes, and kept that pressure up in the second.

Iginla opened the scoring at the end of a dominant shift at 3:23, tipping home a Landeskog shot after the Colorado captain wheeled around the Canucks’ zone with impunity. The 37-year-old Iginla’s 26th goal of the season moved him into a tie with Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau for 40th on the all-time points list.

The Canucks, who wore their retro Vancouver Millionaires jerseys in honour of the 100th anniversary of that team’s Stanley Cup victory, then went down 2-0 after an embarrassing gaffe by Chris Higgins.

The Canucks forward turned the puck over as the last man, and Landeskog moved in on Lack, who made a great glove save, only to see Tanguay bat home a rebound off the end boards moments later at 10:17 for his 22nd.

The Avalanche put the game completely out of reach on the power play, with Landeskog finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Tanguay and O’Reilly at 12:56 for what was also his 22nd of the season.

Weber got one back for the Canucks just 15 seconds into the third on a man advantage with his ninth on a hard shot off the rush, but that was as close as the hosts would come on this night despite two more power plays in the game’s last 10 minutes.

Mitchell then added his ninth of the season into an empty net with a minute to go.

Notes: The Canucks conclude a three-game homestand Saturday against the Dallas Stars. … The Avalanche host the Buffalo Sabres the same night. … O’Reilly extended his point streak to six games (four goals, seven assists). … Weber has five points (three goals, two assists) over the last four games.

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