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Cloutier makes 23 saves in victory

DENVER (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks had lost three straight

games, and goaltender Dan Cloutier had missed his previous start

with the flu.

But all was well Monday night.

Daniel Sedin scored a third-period goal and Cloutier made 23

saves, leading the Canucks to a 1-0 win over the Colorado

Avalanche.

Cloutier recorded his fourth shutout of the season and 14th of

his career as the Canucks trimmed Colorado's lead in the Northwest

Division to four points.

"We haven't played very good the last few games," Cloutier

said, "so it was definitely nice to come in here and get two

points. At least we're two points closer now.

"I missed my last start because of the flu, but I skated this

morning and felt all right. By game time I was feeling pretty good.

Good enough to go."

David Aebischer had 20 saves for the Avalanche, who lost in

regulation for the first time in 13 games.

Moments after Todd Bertuzzi wiped out two Colorado players

behind the net, Sedin poked in a shot from just right of the goal

at 2:09.

"Todd got the puck down on the net there for me and took two

players away," Sedin said. "I was lucky to get a bounce there. It

just laid down for me."

The Avalanche had a half-dozen shots in the waning minutes and

pulled Aebischer with 1:21 remaining but couldn't score.

Colorado finished 0-for-7 on the power play.

"We weren't real sharp with our shots," Colorado coach Tony

Granato said. "We missed the net a lot, we shot high a lot and we

didn't get a lot of rebounds. And when the goalies had to make a

big save, both of them did. There weren't a lot of real quality

chances."

Vancouver went 0-for-4 on the power play in a scoreless first

period that featured few scoring chances. Aebischer had the best

save of the period, going low to stop Markus Naslund from the slot.

Both goalies were again flawless in the second period, during

which Vancouver outshot Colorado 9-7.

Cloutier stopped Milan Hejduk on a rebound try early in the

period and made a blocker save off Teemu Selanne.

Aebischer stopped Matt Cooke on a partial breakaway and stopped

Brad May's shot through traffic.

Colorado failed to convert on a four-minute power play. Cooke

was whistled for high-sticking Derek Morris and got the double

minor when Morris was cut in the mouth, but the Avalanche got off

only two shots.

Naslund was bloodied when he collided with Steve Moore at

mid-ice, but there was no call. Nor was there a call late in the

period when Vancouver's Jarkko Ruutu hit Peter Forsberg in the face

with a high stick.

Canucks coach Marc Crawford was livid about the no-call on

Naslund, limiting his post-game comments to that incident.

"He got a pretty nasty hit," Crawford said. "It could have

been an obstruction call, it could have been an elbow, but instead

they call absolutely nothing. It mystifies me why this happens in

this league. They talk about players not having respect for

players. How about the officials? Should they not have respect for

the leading scorer in the league?

"It was a cheap shot by a young kid on a captain, and we get no

call. That's ridiculous."Game notes
Trevor Linden set a Vancouver record for games played at

897. He had been tied with Stan Smyl. ... Colorado forward Travis

Brigley missed his third straight game because of a shoulder

injury, and Brad Larsen missed his second game with a groin injury.

... Colorado is 7-1-3-2 in its last 13 games and 15-2-3-3 in its

last 23. ... Vancouver is 2-1-1-0 against Colorado this season.