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Alex Burrows' hat trick leads Canucks past slumping Blue Jackets 7-3

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Alex Burrows insists he's not the third twin even though he's having plenty of success playing with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

Burrows scored his second career hat trick Tuesday to lead the surging Canucks to a 7-3 comeback victory over the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. He has found a special relationship with the pair since Daniel Sedin returned to the lineup Nov. 22 after missing 18 NHL games with a broken bone in his foot. Burrows has just one goal while Sedin was out.

"The twins, they do their thing and I do mine and it kind of works out," Burrows said after increasing his goal output to 14 this season.

"They're the ones that are providing the offence. They're the ones that are making plays, especially since Danny's been back."

Burrows' thing is going to the net when one of the twins has the puck.

"All three goals were unreal plays by my linemates," said Burrows who sparked the Canucks after they fell behind 2-0 early. "All three of them were tap-ins."

It was a big night for the trio as Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists to tie Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks for the NHL scoring lead. Both have 58 points.

Daniel Sedin also had a three-point night. He was the architect of Burrows' first two goals and set up his brother's 20th of the season, the eventual game-winner.

Rick Rypien, Sami Salo, on the power play, and Mikael Samuelsson also counted for the Canucks.

Vancouver got six goals past Columbus netminder Steve Mason on 17 shots. He was replaced by Mathieu Garon at 14:53 of the second period.

R.J. Umberger, Kristian Huselius and Kris Russell scored for Columbus.

The victory moved the Canucks into a sixth-place Western Conference tie with Nashville and Los Angeles. They are two points behind Calgary for the Northwest Division lead.

Vancouver, home after collecting seven of a possible eight points on a four-game road trip, won for the sixth time in seven games to improve to 26-16-1.

Free-falling Columbus, which chased goalie Roberto Luongo in a 5-3 win in the Canucks' home opener on Oct. 5, lost their 13th game in 14 starts to drop to 15-20-9.

It was also their 13th straight road loss after a 5-1 start to the season.

"We've been struggling scoring goals and finally we got a couple," said Rick Nash, the Jackets' leading scorer who hasn't had a goal in six games.

"They took it to us and we sat back and let them back in the game. We've seemed to figure out our defensive game in the past five games and couldn't score. Tonight was the opposite."

Nash said the Sedins were the difference.

"They were dominant. To win these games, those are the guys you've got to shut down. We weren't successful tonight."

Burrows said they made his job pretty easy.

"Get on the forecheck, give them the puck," Burrows said. "It seems it just sticks to their blades and they're able to make plays."

Henrik Sedin is on top of the scoring table despite missing his brother for a long period of time The Sedins both had 82 points last season.

"We knew in this locker-room that he's capable of it and he's such a smart offensive guy that he's able to put up some big numbers and compete with the top guys in this league," Burrows said.

"He's playing with confidence and he's working extremely hard with and without the puck."

Henrik Sedin said the Canucks, who equalled a season-high seven goals, have been able to score their way out of deficits this season.

"In years past we score two or three goals and we were able to get wins but it was always tight games," he said. "It's a lot easier physically and mentally to be able to win games like this."

Sedin said the Canucks didn't panic when Umberger and Huselius scored 61 seconds apart. Rypien beat Mason with a shot that dipped under his glove.

"We felt right away when Ripper scored that goal that they fell apart a little bit," Sedin said of the Blue Jackets who have lost 21 of their last 24 games after a 5-1 start to the season.

"You could tell they were a fragile team and we took advantage of it."

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said his team was dominated by Vancouver's forecheck but battled until Salo blasted a puck that came loose from a goalmouth scramble for a 5-3 lead.

"They put their weight to us and knocked us off pucks in our own zone and the put it in the net," said Hitchcock who took the Jackets to their first playoff appearance last season.

"We were right in it when the fifth goal unnerved us. We were right there at 4-3 and battling and the fifth goal killed us."

Notes: Burrows' last hat trick was March 27, 2006 against Los Angeles ... the Canucks play eight of their next 10 games at home ... Vancouver centre Ryan Johnson says he's hoping to resume skating next week after fracturing two bones in his foot blocking a shot ... forward Pavol Demitra is back practising with Vancouver teammates as he continues his lengthy rehab from shoulder surgery ... Columbus winger Jared Boll played despite a hand injury received in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Colorado.



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