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VIDEO: Mike Santorelli's two-goal night gives Vancouver 3-1 win over Colorado
Mike Santorelli was all the rage on Sunday night, after the onetime free agent afterthought turned in a two-goal-and-an-assist performance to sweep aside the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1 at Rogers Arena.
"It's nice playing with two guys like that," Santorelli said of his linemates, Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler, on Sunday. "You learn a lot from them. We're communicating on the bench and letting each other know where we are and it's been fun."
With the win – Vancouver's fourth straight – the Canucks temporarily took hold of eighth place in the West, just one point back of Colorado and two ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes, although both teams have played fewer games than Vancouver.
The goals on Sunday night were Santorelli's seventh and eighth of the almost halfway done campaign. He also has 21 points so far, putting him on pace for 54 in a full 82-game slate.
"If you want to be successful in this league, you've gotta hold onto leads, and I think we did it the right way," Santorelli said, post-game, to Vancouver's media scrum.
The Avalanche scored their only goal with seven seconds left in the third period, ruining goalie Roberto Luongo's shutout bid – a shutout that would have tied him with current Colorado coach and Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy at 67.
Luongo was named the NHL's third star of the week, after posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.30 goals against average and a .960 save percentage. Vancouver beat Nashville, Phoenix, and the Avalanche during its undefeated Monday-to-Sunday stretch.
VIDEO: The comedic stylings of Kevin Bieksa (Canucks TV)