Avalanche kick off long trip with 5-4 win over Flyers
PHILADELPHIA — Mikko Rantanen scored the winner in the shootout, and the Colorado Avalanche kicked off a lengthy road trip with a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
In the third round, Ranatanen made a nifty move and fired a shot past the sprawled-out Michal Neuvirth to give the Avalanche their third straight victory.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots, three on point-blank shots in overtime, two nights after making 57 saves in a victory against Carolina.
The Flyers scored twice and the Avalanche once in a frantic 2:04 stretch early in the third period that ended with Philadelphia tying it at 4 on Dale Weise’s goal at 6:37.
Nail Yakupov, who had taken two penalties, had put Colorado ahead a minute earlier. The Flyers’ Jakub Voracek scored 1:04 before that.
Valtteri Flippula and Claude Giroux also had goals for Philadelphia, which was playing for the third time in four nights. Neuvirth made 23 saves.
Blake Comeau scored a short-handed goal and Rantanen was credited with a power-play goal within 43 seconds of each other in the second period for Colorado.
The Avalanche fell behind 2-1 in the second period while hitting the post three times before trying a new tactic: firing shots off Flyers players.
Comeau’s wrist shot deflected off Ivan Provorov’s skate and past Neuvirh to tie it at 15:20. Then Rantanen got a goal after a centering pass bounced off Robert Hagg.
Matt Duchene scored a power-play goal with 1.6 seconds left in the first period for the Avalanche.
Beginning a 10-game trip that will take them to Sweden for two games, the Avalanche dressed only 11 forwards.
Rocco Grimaldi and Matt Nieto were sidelined because of illness. Gabriel Bourque returned after a two-game absence and replaced Nieto’s spot on the third line. Nail Yakupov filled in for Grimaldi on the second line, and multiple forwards skated extra shifts on the fourth line.
Shayne Gostisbehere, who entered the night tied for the most points by an NHL defensemen, returned from a three-game injury absence and earned his his 14th point on Gioux’s goal. His turnover also led to Yakupov’s goal.
NOTES: Provorov played on despite a second-period hit that left him favoring his left shoulder. … Avalanche D Nikita Zadorov, benched two games following an ugly 7-0 loss to Vegas, returned to the lineup. … Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick (upper body) participated in some of the morning skate wearing a non-contact jersey. He’s been out since Oct. 26.
The Avalanche visit the New York Islanders on Sunday before flying to Sweden, where they’ll play two games against Ottawa in Stockholm.
The Flyers are off until Thursday when they host Chicago.
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