Harry York is doing his best to make up for Vancouver captain Mark Messier's absence.
With a second-chance effort, York scored with 51.6 seconds left in regulation to give the Canucks to 2-2 tie with the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.
"I always try not to read those Hockey News things in summer, because they always cut me up," said York, who began the season as the Canucks' fourth-line center. "But one thing they said about me is that I can fill in well. And that's all I'm trying to do."
"It doesn't matter if it's me or any of the other centers, I'm just happy that we're still winning and doing well without Mark," York said.
Along with the tie, the Canucks survived a scare when leading scorer Alexander Mogilny went down clutching his knee just after York scored. Mogilny, who had to be helped off the ice, limped into the dressing room afterward to inform the media that he was fine.
"It's no big deal. I got lucky," said Mogilny, who was slashed from behind by Colorado defenseman Martin Skoula.
Mogilny said the stick simply hit a nerve and he lost feeling temporarily in his knee.
"It just hit the nerve and it went numb," he said.
With the tie, the Canucks remained three points ahead of the Avalanche atop the Northeast Division standings.
York's goal came just under two minutes after Chris Drury scored on a partial breakaway to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead.
Standing to the left of the net, York tok two whacks at the puck, with the second shot dribbling through Patrick Roy's pads.
"I don't think I've scored too many nice goals around the net, most of them are garbage," said York, who has four goals this season. "I just tried to get the rebound."
Adrian Aucoin also scored for the Canucks, 1-0-2 in their last three games.
Milan Hejduk, with his Avalanche-leading 13th goal, also scored for Colorado, 2-0-2 in its last four meetings against Vancouver.
Drury, who also had an assist, was disappointed the Avalanche let this one slip away.
"Anytime you're winning 2-1 with 51 seconds to go, it's pretty frustrating," Drury said. "We should've had two points there for sure. But, when you're on the road, in a hard-fought game like that, missing Peter (Forsberg) and Joe (Sakic), I guess we'll take the point."
Forsberg, coming off shoulder surgery, hasn't played a game this season, while Sakic, the Avalanche captain, missed his third straight game because of a rib injury.
Vancouver goalie Kevin Weekes stopped 20 shots. Roy, still five victories away from tying Tony Esposito for third on the career NHL list, made 18 saves.
Canucks coach Marc Crawford is still looking for his first victory against his former team.
Crawford, who coached the Avalanche to the 1996 Stanley Cup title, is 0-1-2 in three meetings against Colorado since replacing Mike Keenan behind the Canucks bench in January.
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