Santorelli scores 2 in Canucks' 3-1 win over Avs

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm •  Published: December 8, 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Mike Santorelli has truly found a home with the Vancouver Canucks.

Santorelli, signed as free agent by Vancouver in the offseason after being cast adrift by three NHL clubs, scored two goals and added an assist as the Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Sunday night.

"It feels nice, for sure. A lot of us have been sniffing around (the net), and our line played great tonight," he said.

The 27-year-old Vancouver native was selected by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round of the 2004 draft, but spent much of his four seasons with them in the minors.

Santorelli failed to stick with Florida and Winnipeg, and also played briefly in Sweden during the NHL lockout last season.

But Santorelli, who joined Vancouver on a two-way contract, has eight goals this season, easily surpassing the two he produced with Florida last season while splitting the campaign with the Panthers and Jets.

He is just one shy of the nine he scored in 60 games with Florida in the 2011-12 season.

"He was our best player by far tonight in all areas," Canucks coach John Tortorella said.

The Canucks (17-10-5) earned their fifth win in sixth games and moved within a point of the Avalanche (20-8) in the tight Western Conference standings.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. The Avalanche were beaten for the third time in nine games.

Jamie McGinn had the lone goal for Colorado, scored with only 7.1 seconds left. That kept Roberto Luongo (14-8-5) from earning his 65th NHL shutout.

"I honestly felt we played a better game than them and, unfortunately, we have nothing to show for the result," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "But, I mean, Luongo was good. Both goalies were good, actually."

Luongo had no interest in talking about the one puck that got past him.

"If you ask me about the goal I am going to snap," Luongo said with a laugh. "It's all right, that stuff happens. We'll take the two points and move on."

Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, who were outshot 29-21.

Giguere's 7-0 start was a career best and a Colorado franchise record.

"I didn't think we played terribly bad," he said. "But I don't think it was our best effort, either. I don't think it was, overall, a great effort by either team. It was kind of a grind-it-out type of game, and they got the two goals in the third.

"We just couldn't recover from that."

The Canucks, criticized by Tortorella following Friday's overtime win over Phoenix for an ongoing inability to finish out wins, broke open a tight game with two goals in the third.

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