Colorado Avalanche defenceman Samuel Girard, left, and Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser race for the puck as Colorado defenceman Erik Johnson watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Soderberg scores shootout winner as Avs edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver tallies late to salvage much-needed point

DENVER — Carl Soderberg scored in the sixth round of the shootout, Semyon Varlamov came up with big saves all night long and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Wednesday.

Soderberg knocked in the winner off the glove of Jacob Markstrom as the Avalanche improved to 2-12 in games beyond regulation.

Varlamov made 30 saves through overtime and five more in the shootout.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and Nathan MacKinnon added his 33rd goal of the season to tie captain Gabriel Landeskog for the team lead. The Avalanche have gone 5-0-1 over their last six games to climb back into the playoff chase.

Josh Leivo tied the game at 2 with 3:02 remaining in regulation on a wrist shot. Antoine Roussel also scored for the Canucks. Tanner Pearson made his debut with the team after being acquired Monday from Pittsburgh. He nearly had the winner in OT on a tip-in, but the officials ruled Varlamov made the save and was pushed by Pearson into the net. The play was upheld on review.

Markstrom kept Vancouver close by turning back 43 shots, including a huge glove save early in overtime.

After breaking them up for a few games, the Avalanche reassembled their top line of Rantanen, MacKinnon and Landeskog, who had an assist on Rantanen’s goal. The Avalanche improved to 23-5-5 when each of them has a point.

Vancouver turned up the pressure in the second period and had several quality scoring chances, including Nikolay Goldobin sending a shot off the crossbar. The Canucks nearly tied it at 2 in the closing seconds of the second, but Varlamov made a glove save on Brock Boeser’s attempt.

RELATED: Markstrom earns 1st shutout of season as Canucks blank Ducks 4-0

The opening period didn’t start well for Rantanen with the right winger taking a high-stick penalty 11 seconds into the game. But it certainly ended well as he scored with 1:34 remaining in the first to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. Rantanen’s 27th goal of the season was set up on a play by Landeskog, who stole the puck from Markus Granlund, moved into the zone and dished it over to Rantanen.

MacKinnon staked Colorado a 1-0 lead that lasted all of 54 seconds. Roussel quickly countered by tipping in a shot in the middle of traffic.

NOTES: Vancouver finished 2-0-1 against Colorado this season. … Boeser recorded his 22nd assist. … Avs D Ian Cole skated Wednesday wearing a full face shield. He missed his 11th straight game with what’s being termed an upper-body injury. … F Colin Wilson (upper body) returned after sitting out eight games and had an assist. … Avs F Derick Brassard was traded twice in February — from Pittsburgh to Florida and then to Colorado on Monday. Most of his stuff remains at his apartment in Pittsburgh. He’s living in a hotel in Denver.

UP NEXT

Canucks: Finish a two-game trip Thursday in Arizona.

Avalanche: Begin a two-game trip Saturday in San Jose.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Extended Canucks coverage here

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