VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Daniel Sedin was bound to bust out of his offensive doldrums at some point. Last season’s NHL scoring champion appears to have found his touch.
Sedin scored three goals for his fifth career hat trick, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-0 on Tuesday night. Sedin has six goals in four games, and 12 overall this 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.
Daniel Sedin hadn’t scored for eight games and had been passed in goals by Henrik — normally the set-up man — before this recent 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.”
Now they are going in quite often for the Canucks, who won for the seventh time in eight games.
This victory wasn’t easy, however.
Vancouver was outshot 33-23, goalie Roberto Luongo was knocked out of the game by a shot, and forward David Booth left with what could be a serious knee injury.
Second-line forward Chris Higgins also missed the game because of 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,” he added. “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 of 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.”
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault admired the artistry of his top line.
“Hank’s (Henrik Sedin’s) line, 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 made his seventh consecutive start in front of Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
In addition to Booth’s injury, the Canucks had a scary moment when Luongo was caught under his mask by Gabriel Landeskog’s slap shot from the circle.
“I just had trouble breathing for a few seconds there and felt fine afterward,” said Luongo, who had a red welt on the right side of the neck after the game. “Just a little bit lightheaded the rest of the way.”
Luongo made 13 saves before he was injured in the second period, and watched from the bench as Cory Schneider blanked 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 protecting a 1-0 lead and was tested quickly.
“I kind of got pressed into action and we were sort of treading water,” said Schneider, who beat the Avalanche 3-0 on Nov. 13 in Denver. “Sometimes it’s almost a good thing, get in there and face a few shots right away.”
The Canucks (16-10-1) snapped Colorado’s three-game winning streak. It was Vancouver’s 13th straight game against the Avalanche (13-14-1) without a regulation loss.
“They did a great job taking our shots away (on the 5-on-3 power play),” Colorado defenseman Kyle Quincey said. “You’ve got to tip your hat to them. You give them any chance and they’ll score. They picked us apart.”
Colorado 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 was ejected.
The Canucks forward had to be assisted to the locker room. He 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.”
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