DENVER – The Vancouver Canucks didn’t need their offensive stars to keep their streak going.
Roberto Luongo made 31 saves, fourth-line forwards Alexandre Bolduc and Mason Raymond scored and the streaking Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in a penalty-filled game Sunday night.
Bolduc’s goal was the first of his career, and he assisted on Raymond’s tally. Raymond scored in his first game back after missing 10 games with an injured right thumb.
“It’s nice to see. We’ve got guys chipping in every night, it’s not always the same guys producing,” Luongo said. “You need that over the course of an 82-game season. It’s not always going to be the same line.”
Tanner Glass and Kevin Bieksa had assists for Vancouver. The Canucks have won five straight and are 12-1-2 since the end of November. Vancouver hasn’t lost in regulation since Dec. 5 against St. Louis, a span of 12 games. The Canucks are 4-0 against Colorado this season.
“That’s one of the top scoring teams in the league and at the same time they are one of the best defensive teams,” Avalanche centre Paul Stastny said. “They don’t just rely on one or the other. They have four lines that play pretty well and both goaltenders play pretty well. It is one of the teams that can win a shooutout game or a low scoring game.”
Stastny scored his 15th goal of the season and Craig Anderson made 27 saves for the Avalanche, 1-4-1 since winning six straight.
“Two games in a row we ran into some pretty good goaltending,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. “Tonight, (Luongo) had a pretty good night. We had chances, but weren’t able to capitalize.”
The were 16 minors penalties, nine in the second period, but neither team could take advantage. Colorado was 0 for 6 on the power play and Vancouver was 0 for 5.
The Canucks opened the scoring seconds after killing off one of their nine penalties. With Bieksa in the box for hooking, the Avalanche were pressuring Luongo. Kevin Porter’s wide-open shot from the slot bounced out to Glass, who started a 2-on-1 with Bolduc. Glass fed Bolduc, who beat Anderson with a shot to the far side with 1:45 left in the first period.
“It hasn’t been easy for the young man, he’s been hurt for most of the time in his NHL career,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.
Luongo was sharp throughout, and came up with some big saves in the second period.
“He’s been outstanding and he’s pulled some games out for us,” Raymond said. “It’s a club that thinks it’s great playing for a guy like Louie.”
The Canucks gave Luongo much-needed breathing room when Raymond scored off a feed from Bolduc 3:11 into the third period. It was Raymond’s eighth goal of the season.
“I’m glad to be back and contribute to continue this streak,” Raymond said. “I felt good. I didn’t log a ton of minutes, but overall I felt pretty good.”
Stastny got the Avalanche within a goal with 6:26 left. The on-ice official ruled no goal after Luongo reached back with his glove to pull the puck out of the air, but a video review confirmed his shot crossed the goal line.
“I saw it hit the side of the netting,” Stastny said. “I knew it was a goal right away.”
Colorado pulled Anderson for an extra skater with 1:20 left but couldn’t get the tying goal.
“The high altitude was kicking in there. I’m glad it was over,” Luongo said. “They were throwing everything at the net.”
NOTES: Stastny has 300 career points. … Colorado is 3-7-1 against the Northwest Division and 10-4-1 against the rest of the Western Conference. … The Canucks outscored opponents 58-31 in December.