FLY­ERS NIP COLORADO

Home win­less streak hits six

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Terry Frei

The Avalanche’s home-ice mis­ery con­tin­ued Wed­nes­day night.

And the Philadel­phia Fly­ers re­mained the hottest team in the NHL.

Ro­man Lyu­bi­mov and Bray­den Schenn’s early third-pe­riod goals broke open a 2-2 game and the Fly­ers went on to beat Colorado 4-3 at the Pepsi Cen­ter and ex­tend their win­ning streak to 10.

At the other end of the spec­trum, the loss stretched the Avalanche’s home win­less streak to six games and dropped Colorado to 11-16-1 for the sea­son. Colorado hasn’t won at the Pepsi Cen­ter since a 4-1 trounc­ing of the Los An­ge­les Kings on Nov. 15.

Matt Duch­ene had two goals and Rene Bourque one for the Avalanche, but Bourque also had the wince-in­duc­ing turnover that led to Lyu­bi­mov’s tie-break­ing score.

The only pos­i­tive as­terisk to that is that Colorado’s 28 games played are tied with Min­nesota, Nashville and Los An­ge­les for the low­est to­tal in the West­ern Con­fer­ence, and the Avalanche, with a league-worst 23 points, has as many as four games in hand on other teams in the West. But if the Avalanche doesn’t be­gin mak­ing home ice an ad­van­tage, that all will be moot.

Calvin Pickard, get­ting the start in net be­cause Se­myon Var­lamov came out of his 51-save win at Toronto on Sun­day with a groin mus­cle is­sue, had 12 saves in the score­less first pe­riod, and the Avalanche killed off both Fly­ers’ power plays. Colorado, mean­while, had only five shots on Fly­ers goalie Steve Ma­son in the pe­riod.

The Fly­ers opened the scor­ing at 4:01 of the sec­ond, when Michael Del Zotto’s shot at the end of a rush went off Pickard, up and then down to the ice, and Del Zotto knocked it in.

Eight min­utes later, the Avalanche pulled even shortly af­ter putting con­sid­er­able pres­sure on Ma­son on its first power play of the night, but fail­ing to score. Ten sec­onds af­ter Philadel­phia winger Dale Weise’s hold­ing mi­nor ended, Avalanche cen­ter Carl Soder­berg won a face­off in the Fly­ers’ end and Bourque got to the puck, turned and beat Ma­son from the top of the slot for his ninth goal of the sea­son.

Then the teams traded goals in a span of 23 sec­onds late in the sec­ond. The Avalanche led 2-1 af­ter Duch­ene, near the boards, passed to Nikita Zadorov straight out. Ma­son made a pad save on the Rus­sian’s shot, but Duch­ene was go­ing to the net and put in the re­bound.

The Fly­ers quickly tied it up when Wayne Sim­monds took a pass from Radko Gu­das and broke in on Pickard, and his shot drib­bled off the Avs goalie and in.

The Fly­ers ap­peared to take a 3-2 lead at 18:15 of the pe­riod, but a video re­view ruled that Pierre-Edouard Belle­mare de­flected the puck in with a high stick, agree­ing with the ges­tures Pickard and the Avs on the ice made af­ter the goal light went on. But there was no such wave-off at 3:30 of the third, when Bourque lost the puck in front af­ter break­ing around his own net and Lyu­bi­mov pounced on it and fired it past a sur­prised Pickard. Then, at 5:16, Schenn broke around Avalanche de­fense­man Fran­cois Beau­chemin, cut past Pi­card and scored to put the Fly­ers up by two.

Duch­ene’s sec­ond goal got the Avalanche to within one at 4:15 of the third. With Pickard off for a sixth at­tacker, the Avalanche put on con­sid­er­able pres­sure, but couldn’t tie it up.

The Avalanche fin­ishes up the two-game home­s­tand Fri­day against the Florida Pan­thers.

David Zalubowski, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Philadel­phia de­fense­man Michael Del Zotto, left, cel­e­brates his goal with cen­ter Travis Konecny in the Fly­ers’ 4-3 vic­tory over the Avalanche at the Pepsi Cen­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.