Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda scored his first goal of the season with 7. 6 seconds remaining to help the Avalanche rally for a 4-3 victory...
DENVER — Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda scored his first goal of the season with 7.6 seconds remaining to help the Avalanche rally for a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
“Simple — closed my eyes and shot,” Hejda said.
Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider, making his return to the net after missing a game because of the flu, said he never saw the shot.
“A quick-developing play, and all of a sudden it’s in the back of the net,” he said.
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Gabriel Landeskog, Cody McLeod and P.A. Parenteau also scored as the Avalanche beat the Canucks for the first time since Jan. 18, 2011.
Maxim Lapierre, Jannik Hansen and Jason Garrison had goals for the Northwest Division-leading Canucks, who surrendered the lead twice in the final 20 minutes. That’s very uncharacteristic and “very frustrating,” Garrison said.
The Avalanche is still capitalizing on a motivational scolding from veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. He recently called his teammates out for their uninspired play in a season that’s spiraled out of control. Giguere was irate since some players were more concerned about their vacation plans to Las Vegas than playing hockey.
Since his rant, the Avs have picked up their intensity, winning in Anaheim, losing in a shootout to the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in Los Angeles and rallying back to snap a 10-game winless streak against Vancouver.
Too bad Giguere didn’t say something sooner. Colorado is on the cusp of being officially eliminated from the postseason for a third straight season.