Brunette records game-winner as Avs edge Canucks

DENVER (AP) -- All it took was a good, passionate goaltender
coming to town to light Jose Theodore's fire.

"Every time you play one of the good goalies, you know you're
going to have to bring your game up a level," Theodore said after
saving 36 shots in Colorado's 3-2 win Saturday night over Roberto
Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.

"He's approaching it the same way. We both want to win and we
both take a lot of pride in trying to be the best out there. Every
time you play against top goalies, that's the way you approach

Theodore's performance was among his best since his trade from
Montreal last spring.

The Canucks outshot the Avs 38-20, including 15-6 in the first
period, when Theodore's superb play prevented Vancouver from
igniting a rout.

"I just thought I did my job," Theodore said. "As a goalie,
you just want to make every save and that's what I tried to do for
60 minutes and let the guys take care of the rest, scoring the big
goals when it's time."

Andrew Brunette scored twice, including the tiebreaker in the
third period, when he took a pass from Brett Clark and deked
Luongo, who fell for the fake to the left. That allowed Brunette to
slip the puck past him on the glove side to break a 2-2 tie at

"Clark did a nice job keeping the puck in. He's playing great
hockey now, and he just kind of found me in an open seam and I had
time," Brunette said.

"It's a big win for a game we really didn't deserve to be in. I
thought Jose kept us in the game tonight, and he's the reason we
got the win."

Theodore won his third straight start, a streak in which he's
stopped 97 of 103 shots.

The Avs entered the game averaging 35 shots per game, tops in
the NHL. But they managed just six in the first period, when the
Canucks had 15, including Markus Naslund's goal with 53 seconds

Alexandre Burrows had just come off the bench when he stole the
puck from Paul Stastny at the blue line and took it down the ice
for the pass to Naslund that gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead.

Colorado tied it 92 seconds into the second period when Clark
took a pass from Joe Sakic and slapped a shot from the high slot
that deflected off Brunette's stick past Luongo, who jumped up and
pleaded for with referee Bill McCreary to waive it off.

"I definitely thought it was interference," Luongo said. "He
didn't have his stick in my pad, it was more in my arm and he spun
me around as the shot came in, and I couldn't get an arm on the

It was the second straight game that Luongo felt he had been
hurt by poor officiating.

In a 5-2 loss to the Wild in Minnesota on Thursday night, a goal
by Todd White was initially waved off for kicking, but a video
review reversed the original call, infuriating Luongo and Canucks
coach Alain Vigneault, who concurred with his goalie on this one,

"He's a professional and goaltenders are very strong mentally.
Tonight, I thought that their first goal was a missed call by the
official," Vigneault said. "That is two games in a row where that
has had a direct impact on the outcome of the game.

"Those are things that you have to fight through. Louie has to
fight through it, too. He can play better, and hopefully he will do
that for us through the next homestand."

Game notes
After playing 11 of their first 15 games on the road, the
Canucks play six straight at home. ... Sakic has 89 points in 67
career games against the Canucks, his highest scoring total against
an opponent. ... Clark has five career two-assists games and two of
them have come this season against Vancouver.