Mikko Rantanen scored and notched an assist, lifting the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the struggling Canucks on Friday in Vancouver.
The Avs (24-17-3) also got goals from Andrew Cogliano, Valeri Nichushkin and Brad Hunt, while Nathan MacKinnon contributed a pair of helpers.
Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks (18-24-3), who are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games.
Alexandar Georgiev made 28 saves as Colorado extended its win streak to four games. Vancouver’s Collin Delia stopped 26-of-30 shots.
Despite Vancouver’s performance, the crowd showed its appreciation for Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau midway through the second period and again late in the game with chants of “Bruce, there it is!” to the tune of Tag Team’s “Whoomp! [There it is].”
Multiple reports say the veteran NHL bench boss will be fired imminently and replaced with former Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet.
WATCH | Nichushkin scores go-ahead goal as Avs defeat Canucks:
Nichushkin’s 2nd period go-ahead goal holds up as the Avalanche take down Canucks
Hunt, a former Canuck, gave the Avs a three-goal cushion heading into the final frame. The veteran defenceman launched a rocket from the blue line that sailed past Delia with 33 seconds left in the second period.
Vancouver got on the board 12:32 into the middle frame after Brock Boeser dove in the slot, poking the puck to Pettersson at the top of the crease. The Swedish centre used some deft stick handling, moving the puck from his forehand to his backhand, then, falling to his knees, wrapped a shot around Georgiev for his 19th goal of the season.
SILKY MITTS pic.twitter.com/5KUVf3nyr3
The Colorado netminder denied Canucks captain Bo Horvat on a short-handed breakaway minutes before, curling an outstretched leg into the air and kicking the puck away for a scorpion save.
A two-man advantage saw the Avs go up 3-0 midway through the second after Vancouver’s Conor Garland was sent to the box for holding and his team was called for too many men.
MacKinnon sent a blistering shot wide of the net and the puck sprang off the end boards to Rantanen at the goal line. The right-winger fired off a quick sharp-angle shot over Delia stick side for his 32nd goal of the year at the 10:32 mark.
Colorado went two for four with the man advantage Friday while Vancouver was zero for four.
The Avs started the second with an extended five-on-three after Boeser was sent to the box for putting a puck over the glass and teammate Luke Schenn joined him after getting called for holding with just seconds to go in the first.
Thirty-four seconds into the new period, J.T. Compher sent Nichushkin a pass from the goal line and the Russian forward sent a wrist shot sailing toward the net. The puck bounced in off Canucks defenceman Tyler Myers as he slid in front of the net and Colorado took a 2-0 lead.
MacKinnon contributed an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to seven games with four goals and 11 helpers across the stretch.
Cogliano opened the scoring 11:32 into the game, ripping a shot past Delia glove side from the hash marks.
Defenceman Travis Dermott returned to the Canucks lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed injury. Colorado’s Cale Makar missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury.
Horvat saw his nine-game point streak come to an end. The Canucks centre registered four goals and six assists going back to Dec. 29.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. The Canucks host the Edmonton Oilers while the Avalanche round out a three-game road swing against the Kraken in Seattle.
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