Zherdov's goals came in the final 12 minutes as the Blue Jackets rallied twice from a pair of two-goal deficits and snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Vancouver had just one win in six games since All-Star Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs for his attack on Colorado's Steve Moore. The Canucks got a boost from the return of defenseman Ed Jovanovski and built leads of 2-0 and 4-2.
The 19-year-old Zherdev started the Blue Jackets' second comeback with 11:35 remaining. Todd Marchant put a rebound past goaltender Johan Hedberg during a power play with 4:47 left and Zherdev completed his first career two-goal game with 1:55 to go.
Artem Chubarov tallied twice, but Vancouver had its winless streak extended to a season-high five games (0-3-1-1).
"We are playing some great hockey, not great hockey, good hockey," Blue Jackets center Todd Marchant said. " It shows a lot of character for a team with more downs than ups."