VANCOUVER – The goals were bound to come for defending scoring champion Daniel Sedin.
The Swedish sniper scored his fifth career hat trick as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-0 Tuesday night.
Sedin now has six goals in his last four games, and 12 on the season.
“It’s going to happen if you keep shooting and keep creating,” said Sedin, whose line consisting of twin brother Henrik and Alex Burrows combined for eight points.
He hadn’t scored for eight games and had been passed in goals by Henrik—normally the set-up man—prior to his outburst.
“That’s the way a season goes,” Daniel Sedin said. “It’s up and down and you’re going to have some games when you’re not scoring and some games when the pucks are going in.”
Right now, the pucks are going in for the Canucks, who won for the seventh time in eight games.
The victory came on a night when the were outshot 33-23, goalie Roberto Luongo was felled by a shot and couldn’t finish and forward David Booth left with what could be a serious knee injury.
Second-line winger Chris Higgins also missed the game with a foot infection, but the Canucks showed resolve.
“This is what happens when you’re on a roll,” said Sedin, who had career bests of 41 goals and 104 points last season.
“We’re a deep team so we can have a few injuries. I know it’s top guys on this team (who were injured) but there are guys who can come in and do great jobs.
“When we play our best we’re going to be in games. It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup.”
Jannik Hansen helped fill in for the injured forwards, scoring twice to match his career-high nine goals.
“You see guys jump around in the lineup and there’s no misstep,” said Hansen, who has spent time on the Canucks’ first three lines this season.
“Everybody kind of knows where each other is and who we are playing with. So it doesn’t matter who you are thrown in with.”
Coach Alain Vigneault admired the artistry of his top line.
“Hank’s (Henrik Sedin’s) line tonight on a couple of occasions did things on the ice that are just amazing, they make plays the average player can’t make or even think of making,” he said.
Vancouver broke the game open with four goals in a 4:25 span in the third period.
Alex Edler’s 6-0 goal chased Semyon Varlamov, who was making his seventh consecutive start in front of veteran J.S. Giguere.
In addition to Booth’s injury, the Canucks had a scary moment when Luongo was caught under his mask by a Gabriel Landeskog slapshot from the faceoff circle.
“I just had trouble breathing for a few seconds there and felt fine afterwards,” said Luongo, who had a red welt on the right side of the neck after the game.
“Just a little bit light-headed the rest of the way.”
Luongo had a 13-save shutout going when he was injured in the second period and watched from the bench as Cory Schneider stoned the Avalanche the rest of the way.
“That’s why we got the closer in there,” Luongo said of Schneider, who had to be sharp shortly after he entered the game when Colorado had a 44-second two-man advantage.
Schneider was nursing a 1-0 lead and was tested as soon as he came off the bench.
“I kind of got pressed into action and we were sort of treading water,” said Schneider, who blanked the Avalanche 3-0 on Nov. 13 in Denver.
“Sometimes its almost a good thing, get in there and face a few shots right away.”
The Canucks (16-10-1) snapped a three-game Colorado win streak. It was their 13th straight game against the Avalanche (13-14-1) without a regulation loss.
“They did a great job taking our shots away (on the five-on-three power play),” said Colorado defenceman Kyle Quincey.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to them–you give them any chance and they’ll score. They picked us apart.”
Coach Joe Sacco said the difference was failing to capitalize on that two-man advantage or early in the game when the Avalanche held a 9-1 edge in shots.
“It certainly didn’t feel like a 6-0 game from our side,” Sacco said. “Usually when you let good teams like this hang around like that they’ll make the plays.”
Booth was injured on a knee-on-knee hit by Kevin Porter who received a major penalty and a game misconduct.
The Canuck forward had to be assisted to the locker-room and will have an MRI to determine the damage to his right knee.
Vigneault said Higgins, who watched the game from the press box with his leg elevated, will accompany the Canucks on their five-game road trip which begins Thursday in Montreal.
“The pills are working (on the infection),” Vigneault said. “Right now what needs to happen is where they cut his foot open, that needs to close.”
Notes: Porter had no penalty minutes prior to Tuesday. … The Canucks also lost D Kevin Bieksa for part of the second period when he lost a front tooth in a collision with David Jones. … Avs D Ryan Wilson left the game with a head injury after a check by Canuck F Maxim Lapierre. … Paul Stastny was sidelined by a torso injury suffered in Sunday’s 4-2 Colorado win over Detroit.