Avs hold on to beat Panthers
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves, including 18 in the third period, to help the Colorado Avalanche fend off the Florida Panthers, 3-2, BB&T Center.
The Avalanche were very sloppy after building a 3-0 lead, while the Panthers were relentless and continuously peppered Varlamov.
However, the comeback bid fell short.
Florida outshot Colorado 20-6 in the final frame and Scottie Upshall lit the lamp twice. His second goal on a deflection came with 1:43 remaining and Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas on the bench for an extra skater.
Ryan O'Reilly had a goal -- his career-high 19th of the season -- and an assist for an Avalanche team that welcomed forward Alex Tanguay back to the lineup after he missed 36 games with knee and hip injuries.
Colorado improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
Thomas finished with 22 saves for the Panthers, who were seeking a third straight win.
O'Reilly gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead just 1:34 into the contest, the first on a three-game road trip. He tucked the puck home at the right post after a hard-working shift by Matt Duchene.
Paul Stastny scored on a backhand from the doorstep to make it 2-0 with 3:47 remaining in the opening period.
Colorado led 3-0 when O'Reilly threw the puck out front and Jamie McGinn put it behind Thomas with seven minutes left in the second period.
Upshall scored from the crease at 5:18 of the third for his 100th career NHL goal.
The Panthers had won three straight at home against the Avalanche ... Florida won 4-1 on Nov. 16 in Denver ... Panthers rookie forward Aleksander Barkov missed the game with a lower-body injury ... Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play ... The Panthers have gone a franchise-record 12 games without a power-play goal.
01/24 22:42:47 ET