Horvat’s 2 points leads Canucks past Avalanche

Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist, Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves and chipped in with an assist, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

DENVER — The Vancouver Canucks got defensive Tuesday night to help stop their four-game skid.

Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist, Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves and chipped in with an assist, and Vancouver got four points from its defencemen to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Matt Bartkowski scored his first goal in nearly three months, Ben Hutton had two assists. Sven Baertschi also scored for the Canucks, whose recent 0-3-1 stretch had dropped them to fifth in the Pacific Division.

They stopped that slide with help from the back end. Bartkowski, Hutton and Luca Sbisa accounted for four of team’s nine points in the game.

“We have the ability to do that,” Sbisa said. “We’re all pretty good skaters, we have decent puck skills. It’s coming around. We’ve been playing decent hockey the last three or four games, but we didn’t find a way to win.

“Tonight, we did.”

Sbisa showed the way on the clinching goal. He got the puck behind his own net, skated nearly the length of the ice and fed Horvat for a goal at 4:30 of the third.

“I saw open ice, they misplayed it a bit, took the ice and it ended up in the net,” Sbisa said. “Bo put a great shot on net.”

Francois Beauchemin scored the lone goal for Colorado, and Semyon Varlamov had 25 saves while the Avalanche continued to scuffle on home ice, where they are 12-13-4.

“Home ice, especially, you have to find ways to put the puck in the back of the net and we are just not doing that right now,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said.

The Avalanche couldn’t capitalize on three straight power plays and 1:25 of 5-on-3 in the first, but took a 1-0 lead on Beauchemin’s seventh goal of the season at 2:26 of the second.

The Canucks scored twice before the end of the second to take a 2-1 lead at intermission. Bartkowski’s wrister at 9:43 tied it and gave him his first goal since Nov. 2.

“We had a chance to get some momentum,” Roy said. “We took the 1-0 lead and seemed like we did a great job killing that penalty. Unfortunately for us, they scored just as the penalty expired. That gave them some momentum.”

Baertschi knocked in Hutton’s rebound at 16:22 to give Vancouver the lead. Colorado coach Patrick Roy challenged the goal because he thought forward Jake Virtanen pushed Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie into Varlamov, but the goal stood up upon review.

The Canucks could have led by more, but Varlamov stopped Daniel Sedin and Virtanen on breakaways in the second.

Horvat iced the game with his 10th goal. Varlamov went off for an extra skater with 3:25 left, but the Avalanche could only get three harmless shots on Markstrom.

“It was a good game from the bottom to the top,” Markstrom said. “We had some huge kills late in the first and early in the second and we had some timely goals. That was probably our best team effort in the third period.”

NOTES: Vancouver C Brandon Sutter left midway through the second when he took a puck to the face. He did not return. D Alexander Edler also left in the second period with an undisclosed injury. … Avalanche D Nick Holden wore a full face shield to protect his broken nose. It was injured on a high stick by Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford on Saturday night. … Avalanche RW Jack Skille missed his second straight game with a concussion.

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