VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Nobody associated with the Avalanche would have drawn it up this way, but Colorado picked up the elusive point that secured at least seventh place in the Western Conference on Saturday night. The Avalanche lost to Vancouver 4-3 at GM Place when the Canucks’ Brendan Morrison scored with 37 seconds left in overtime. But because Colorado got to overtime, the Avalanche will avoid a first-round playoff series with Detroit, which will have the best record in the NHL. “We got a point out of it, and that’s good,” Pierre Turgeon said. “A win would have been nice, but we’ll see what happens in the next game and we’ll see what Anaheim does.” Colorado is in seventh place with 95 points, but the Avalanche trails sixth-place Anaheim by just one and holds the tiebreaker over the Mighty Ducks. Colorado will move into sixth place if it wins its season finale on Monday at Edmonton and the Mighty Ducks lose their season finale on Monday in overtime or regulation. The Avalanche also will claim sixth if it loses on Monday in overtime and Anaheim loses in regulation. But a win would be nice for a Colorado team that isn’t exactly steaming toward the postseason. The Avalanche have lost nine of its past 15 games, including two in a row. “Right now, it doesn’t really matter who we face in the playoffs,” said Alex Tanguay, who had a pair of goals in his third game since returning from an injured knee. “We’re going to be facing a good opponent. We were looking at just getting ourselves ready.” Though Colorado was on the road facing a division rival Saturday, it couldn’t have asked for a better situation in which to catch the Canucks. Vancouver, considered a Stanley Cup contender at the start of the season, had been eliminated from the playoffs Thursday. In addition, the Canucks started backup goaltender Mika Noronen instead of their starter, team most valuable player Alex Auld. But Colorado came out flat and allowed Vancouver’s crowd to morph from disinterested to a factor. The Avalanche got no help from its power play, which came up empty for the second straight game. Colorado failed to score on any of its seven power plays, and is 0-for-13 on extra-man chances so far on this road trip. Saturday also was the second straight game the Avalanche did not score with a twoman advantage. Down 2-1, Colorado tied the game with 11:38 to play when Brad Richardson’s crossing pass bounced off Turgeon’s skate and went into the net. The Avalanche seemed like it would steal a victory when Tanguay scored with 2:06 to play, but Anson Carter forced overtime for the Canucks by scoring with 43 seconds left in regulation. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0365 or firstname.lastname@example.org NEXT Colorado (43-29-9) at Edmonton (40-28-13), 7 p.m. Monday, Altitude, 740/710 AM
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