Avalanche beat Hurricanes behind career-high 57 saves from Varlamov

DENVER (AP) - Semyon Varlamov stopped a career-high 57 shots, Blake Comeau scored the first of Colorado's three second-period goals over a 3:33 span and the Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Thursday night.
 
Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen also scored in the second for Colorado. Carl Soderberg added a goal, and Patrik Nemeth got his first NHL goal as the Avalanche improved to 5-1 at home. Colorado now embarks on a four-game, 10-day road trip that includes two contests in Stockholm, Sweden.
 
Varlamov rebounded from a forgettable game in which he allowed seven goals at Vegas last week. He preserved a 5-3 lead in the third by turning back 22 shots.
 
Victor Rask scored 55 seconds into the game for Carolina, which outshot the Avalanche 60-27. Elias Lindholm and Derek Ryan also had goals.
 
The Hurricanes pulled goaltender Cam Ward with around 1:45 remaining, but couldn't get anything past Varlamov. His previous high for saves was 54 on Jan. 6, 2015, at Chicago.
 
Colorado extended its lead to 4-2 in the second when Landeskog scored off a rebound. The Hurricanes challenged the goal, contending that Rantanen's skate may have been offside as Nathan MacKinnon brought the puck into the zone. The replay confirmed the goal and Carolina was assessed a delay-of-game penalty.
 
The Avs took advantage when Rantanen tipped in MacKinnon's pass 55 seconds later to extend the advantage to 5-2.
 
Carolina dominated the tempo in the first period, outshooting Colorado by a 22-9 margin.
 
Rask ignited the Hurricanes with a goal before many of the fans even had a chance to settle into their seats. He scored on a crazy-angle shot that crept in between Varlamov's arm and the post.
 
After Soderberg and Nemeth found the net for Colorado, Lindholm tied it at 2.
 
Absent for a third straight game was Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch.
 
"It (stinks) to be in the doghouse," lamented Zadorov, who signed a two-year deal at the start of training camp.
 
Colorado coach Jared Bednar said he's trying to find the right combination along the blue line.
 
"The plan moving forward is keep him working and help him get better," Bednar said.
 
NOTES: Carolina D Jaccob Slavin is from down the road in Erie, Colorado. He had six shots. ... D Roland McKeown was recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. He was a scratch. ... The Avs are without forwards Gabriel Bourque (upper body), J.T. Compher (hand), Tyson Jost (lower body) and Colin Wilson (hip). ... MacKinnon finished with two assists.
 
UP NEXT
 
Hurricanes: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
 
Avalanche: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
 
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© 2017 Associated Press


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