The Vancouver Canucks beat the host Colorado Avalanche 3-2, extending their winning streak to four games — all with Cory Schneider in goal.

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DENVER — The Vancouver Canucks are playing some of their best hockey at a good time — during the stretch run of the regular season — and goaltender Cory Schneider has been a major factor.

“It is amazing to see the way he has been playing the last four games,” Vancouver forward Mason Raymond said. “The way Schneids has been seeing the puck has been huge for our club.”

Raymond and Alexandre Burrows scored in the second period and Vancouver moved into sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Schneider came up big again against Colorado, making 26 saves in his fourth consecutive start.

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“I have been playing my best hockey and winning is the best part of the game,” said Schneider, who improved to 5-0-1 with two shutouts against the Avalanche. “But it doesn’t come without doing extra work and without your teammates in front of you blocking the shots.”

Jason Garrison added a goal for the Canucks, winners of four straight. Vancouver moved ahead of idle Minnesota by two points for the division lead.

“It’s just phenomenal how these guys in this stretch of five games in seven nights continue to pay the price,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said of the banged-up Canucks. “They’ve done everything they’re supposed to do to give themselves a chance to win.”

Jamie McGinn and PA Parenteau scored for free-falling Colorado, which has dropped six of seven.

“I thought we played hard tonight and I was proud of our resiliency right up until the very end,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said.

The Avalanche has dropped the last nine meetings between the teams.


• Tampa Bay, next to last in the Eastern Conference, fired coach Guy Boucher, 41. The Lightning lost to Winnipeg 3-2 later Sunday and dropped to 13-18-1.

• Pittsburgh acquired Brenden Morrow, 34, in a trade with Dallas. The Penguins sent defenseman Joe Morrow (no relation), 20, and a fifth-round choice in this year’s draft to the Stars for Brenden Morrow and Dallas’ third-round pick.

Brenden Morrow is to become a free agent after the season.

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