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Avalanche 4, Canucks 2

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Avalanche 4, Canucks 2: Defenseman Tyson Barrie snapped a tie with 7:30 remaining in the third period and Semyon Varlamov recorded his franchise-record - and league-leading - 41st victory as visiting Colorado extended its point streak to nine games (8-0-1).

Paul Stastny scored a pair of goals and John Mitchell tallied into an empty net for the Avalanche, who overtook St. Louis for first place in the Central Division and is one point behind Anaheim for the best record in the West. Varlamov made 38 saves in surpassing coach Patrick Roy's single-season franchise mark for wins.

Captain Henrik Sedin and David Booth scored for the Canucks, who completed a 1-4-0 homestand. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis notched two assists and Jacob Markstrom turned aside 24 shots in his first start since being acquired from Florida in the Roberto Luongo trade.

Vancouver opened the scoring at 13:52 of the first period as Sedin deflected Hamhuis' one-timer from the left point past Varlamov. Colorado pulled even with 1:21 left in the session, when Stastny forced a turnover by Nicklas Jensen and raced in on a breakaway before firing the puck between Markstrom's pads.

Stastny put the Avalanche ahead at 5:21 of the third by burying the rebound of defenseman Erik Johnson's shot, but the lead lasted only 99 seconds as Booth lifted the puck over Varlamov's right shoulder from the doorstep. Barrie snapped the deadlock during a 2-on-1 rush, carrying the puck up the right wing and drifting into the slot to avoid sliding Canucks defenseman Alex Edler before rifling a shot past Markstrom.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Colorado and St. Louis are even in points, but the Avalanche own the tiebreaker. ... Markstrom made his first appearance since relieving Eddie Lack on March 6. The latter had made 19 consecutive starts, tying Corey Hirsch's franchise rookie record. ... Colorado improved to 2-0-0 on its season-ending four-game road trip.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140411/avalanche-top-canucks-tie-first-central